Author: PAHIC (page 3 of 4)

What’s Next For Hemp in PA?

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Just 8 days after Governor Wolf signed the Industrial Hemp Bill into law, the PA Department of Agriculture held a stakeholders meeting to discuss the roll out of the program. While there wasn’t much they could do before the legislation actually passed, its clear they have been hard at work for a while.

PAHIC board members with the PA Dept of Agriculture.

PAHIC board members with the PA Dept of Agriculture.

We are proud of our Dept. of Agriculture and the enthusiasm they are demonstrating for this program. There is much work to be done, but their openness in listening to ideas, suggestions and hopes for this new industry is very encouraging.

Many aspects of the industry were represented at the meeting. PAHIC, Pennsylvania Farmers Union, PA Preferred, Penn State, lawyers , processors and farmers were among the 20 or so participants in the meeting.

thGSG3ZYXCIt was a great discussion from many different angles but what the defining question that must be answered first and foremost is, “What is the definition of ‘Research’.

We presented the case that there is scientific research that needs to be done which will be best suited for the institutes of higher education with traditional test plots. But marketing research is also legitimate research which would include commerce. Precedence has been set that this is indeed compatible with federal guidelines under section 7606 of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill.

While there are still many unknowns as the process unfolds, the Department felt that they should be ready to start accepting applications for projects by the end of the year and confident we will have seeds in the ground by next planting season!

ffffStay tuned – we will keep you updated as more details for participation are available. We anxiously await seeing emerald fields of hemp again in Pennsylvania next year!

Melissa Etheridge thanks PA’s advocates/Local business creates companies that will support advocacy.

Reading Eagle: Susan L. Angstadt | Rocker and activist Melissa Etheridge was the surprise guest speaker at Tuesday's announcement of hemp and medical marijuana production at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

Reading Eagle: Susan L. Angstadt | Rocker and activist Melissa Etheridge was the surprise guest speaker at Tuesday’s announcement of hemp and medical marijuana production at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

Melissa Etheridge, Grammy and Academy Award Winning singer-songwriter and the undisputed national MMJ advocate, was the surprise guest speaker at an appreciation event for the Pennsylvanian advocates who were key to the passage of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp legislation which has allowed people to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania if they need it.

The event, held at the new Double Tree Hotel in downtown Reading, was attended by members of Campaign4Compassion, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and Senators Judith Schwank & Mike Folmer. Both Senators Schwank and Folmer spearheaded the effort to pass both Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Legislation in the Pennsylvania Senate.

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From left: Sen. Schwank’s Chief of Staff, Bill Evans, Senator Judy Schwank and Senator Mike Folmer.

“Pennsylvania has a long and distinguished history of growing hemp, primarily for it’s strong fiber that could be woven into cloth and rope. Today we know that hemp has myriad other uses including as a high protein food, a potent medicine, a biomass source and a conservation crop. Hemp has unlimited potential in the Commonwealth, not only for farmers and agribusiness, but our entire economy”, said Senator Schwank.

Senator Folmer added “I look forward to House Bill 967 being signed into law and was pleased to work with my House and Senate colleagues Representative Diamond and Senator Schwank to bring industrial hemp to Pennsylvania. Not only will this product return us to an important part of both Pennsylvania and United States history, it will lay the foundation for a brighter future for Pennsylvania agriculture and related industries”.

13654173_1277629602250028_3824164282576667173_nEtheridge, a breast cancer survivor who attributes her legal use of MMJ during her recovery in her home state of California, said “ I am so proud and happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with this dynamic group of Pennsylvanians, whose efforts over these last years has made the path for so many others seeking cannabis, a much easier and legal path to travel”.

Etheridge and Fleetwood entrepreneur, philanthropist and farmer Geoff Whaling, President of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and Founding Member of the national CBD advocacy group, The Coalition for Access Now, have become friends through their mutual campaigns to educate and raise awareness about cannabis, so to ensure national access for those who are seeking to include MMJ in their therapy and for farmers and others seeking to enter the Industrial Hemp Industry. There are various ways to get medical marijuana for yourself to help you with ailments that you are facing, websites such as old 27 wellness help supply medical marijuana to people who are in need, always check with a medical professional first to see if this is the best for you and your needs.

AgriNEXTusa_HorizontalWhaling unveiled the establishment of AgriNextusa, a holding company that will be based in Berks County that will focus on the tremendous opportunity to grow and process the non-psycho active Industrial Hemp crop. Whaling has been appointed CEO of the corporation and also announced that Pennsylvania Harvest will be the AgriNextusa farming and processing company.

PennsylvaniaHarvest_070616Pennsylvania Harvest will commence educating and working with farmers in Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon and Lehigh counties who are interested in growing this rotational crop starting in 2017, while, at the same time will be seeking a site to build the first multi million dollar decortication/processing plant in Pennsylvania. Whaling also advised that AgriNextusa is, through a separate agreement, the exclusive Pennsylvania rights holder to Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil, the world’s most-trusted and rich hemp extract. Included within this rights agreement is AgriNextUSA’s ability to research and develop a complete line of products containing Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil.

Along with GWW LLC, the Founding Manager Partners of AgriNextusa include Oley Valley business Seize the Day Industries and former Philadelphia Flyer Riley Cote who has been an advocate and is the Founder of the Hemp Heals Foundation. All will have a representative serve on the Board of Directors.

KeystoneGreenThe Partners also announced that they have established a separate company that will explore applying for either a separate grow/processing, dispensary or one of the combined vertically integrated Medical Marijuana license established under Act 16, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana legislation signed by Governor Wolfe in April. That company, Keystone Green MMJ, would, if successful, establish a grow facility in Berks County on lands that the partnership already owns and would establish and operate Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Berks, Lehigh and Lebanon Counties.

Local advocate Erica McBride has been named the Administrative Director for both companies and Oley Valley resident, Jason Dierolf, will work as Farm Development Manager for Pennsylvania Harvest working and assisting local farmers interested in growing the Industrial Hemp crop.

These businesses will benefit from the years of leadership of many of its founding members and advocates. Key and most important to the business model of both companies will be the commitment to contribute a percentage of profits to a newly established 501C3, 4 Advocates Foundation that will continue to fund the efforts of the advocates, including Campaign for Compassion and the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council amongst many other deserving MMJ, IH, CBD organizations who offer things like Broad Spectrum CBD.

13659057_1277629058916749_8351548834982399513_n“Our efforts did not stop with the passage of the Act 16, said Lolly Bentch a mother of a child with seizure disorders and one of the founding members of the Campaign4Compassion. “ As the Department of Health creates regulations and licenses are awarded, our role will become even more important, so that the needs of patients and their families are kept at the forefront of every discussion and decision. This unique business model presented by Pennsylvania Harvest and AgriNextusa demonstrates leadership and establishes a precedence that I hope will be a template for others entering the PA Medical Marijuana program. ”

In praise of Senator Judy Schwank

schwank_smIt is rare, exceptionally rare, to find a politician who puts the interests of others, be it business, advocates, industry and voters before their own political career and party. Doing otherwise seems odd. Yet for State Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks), she’s in it for us – as she championed the return of the Industrial Hemp Crop and Industry for Pennsylvania.

Senator Schwank introduced legislation 18 months ago to take advantage of the Federal Farm Bill provision that gave States the opportunity to introduce legislation to undertake pilot and marketing programs with the Industrial Hemp crop. As a committed soldier of agricultural initiatives, Senator Schwank went to work, as she wanted to ensure that every opportunity was given to Pennsylvania farmers and entrepreneurs who dared.

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Senator Schwank educates about hemp at the PAHIC booth at the 2016 PA Farm Show

She championed a Senate Bill with the support of State Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). Although from opposing parties their goals aligned.

A GOP member introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives. Senator Schwank’s bill quickly passed Senate committee and received a unanimous vote in the Senate. The House refused to place Senator Schwank’s bill on its calendar and insisted that their bill be considered, even though the delay would prevent a planting this year. So then there were two bills – one House and one Senate. Yet politics being what they are in Harrisburg, the House leadership wanted the GOP member and the GOP House to get the credit. The Senate GOP was not far behind in wanting to ensure they were seen as the champion of PA’s farmers, even though it was Schwank who raised and fought for the opportunity.

leadershipIn what can only be defined as true leadership, Senator Schwank let all know that it was not important for her name nor her party affiliation to get the credit for her tireless efforts. She stayed the course and wanted PA’s farmers and industry to have this opportunity.

So Senator Schwank, and her rarely recognized staff, directed and worked to get the House Bill passed in a Senate Committee and the full Senate. That Bill, without her name or affiliation will be sent this week to Governor Wolfe to sign into law.

We celebrate and salute State Senator Schwank. PA would be better off if there were more like her in Harrisburg!

Geoff Whaling
President
Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council

Board of Directors
Pennsylvania Farmers Union

Independence Day for Hemp in PA

The famous flag sown by Betsy Ross was made from Pennsylvania Hemp in Philadelphia.

The famous flag sown by Betsy Ross was made from Pennsylvania Hemp in Philadelphia.

As the last order of business, on the last business day before a holiday weekend, the PA Senate took a historic step by passing HB967, the house Industrial Hemp Bill. This brings hemp one step from its independence in Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, it’s not that hemp was ever controversial on its journey so far. The Senate had passed its own version, SB50, unanimously in March of this year. It has always enjoyed bi-partisan support, but when you have competing bills in each chamber there is always uncertainty as to which bill will make it to the governor’s desk.

After months of pushing and trying to wade through the politics of change, the senate to its credit chose to move the house bill. This is in large part due to our champions in the senate, the sponsors of SB50, State Senators Judy Schwank, democrat from Berks County and Mike Folmer, republican from Lebanon County. From the beginning both understood the importance of Pennsylvania capitalizing on the 2014 Federal Farm Bill section 7606; which allowed states for the first time to reintroduce and research this crop of amazing potential.

Our champion legislators participated in a hempcrete workshop last year where participants learned how to build with hemp.

Our champion legislators participated in a hempcrete workshop last year where participants learned how to build with hemp.

Both took every opportunity to educate and promote industrial hemp, and were willing to set aside the satisfaction of having it be their bill that passed. In something that seems so rare in our political climate, they put the people and the issue first. They not only claimed to care about farmers, job creation, sustainability and the environment, they proved it.

In the house, HB967 was introduced by State Representative Russ Diamond, republican from Lebanon County. He too saw the potential for hemp for Pennsylvania and worked very hard to gain support in the House. Representative Diamond will always be known as our hero in the House. With Rep. Diamond’s support and encouragement, the prime co-sponsor Marty Flynn, democrat from Lackawanna County, introduced an amendment that opened up the bill to specifically allow individual farmers to license directly with the PA Department of Agriculture, and not be bound with having to contract with an institute of higher education. Ultimately this is what made us prefer HB967 over the senate’s version. 

PAHIC board members with the PA Dept of Agriculture.

PAHIC board members with the PA Dept of Agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture is extremely supportive of industrial hemp but their hands were tied until legislation actually passed. They have a lot of work ahead of them in creating and implementing the industrial hemp program without the proper funding to do it. While it is unfortunately way too late in the season for us to get any pilot programs running this year, we have every confidence that they will have ample time and support to be ready to hit the ground running next spring!

On July 5th, HB967 is scheduled for concurrence in the house. Which in basic terms simply means that they agree to the slight changes made in the senate. So after Tuesday’s vote, HB967 will be sent to the governor to sign it into law. We know that Governor Wolf is completely supportive and eager to sign it. We even have pens made from hemp for him to use to sign the bill.

George-Washington-hempWe are about to all witness the rebirth of an entire industry! It’s appropriate that this is happening now as we celebrate our country’s independence. Hemp was always a part of our nation’s heritage, instrumental to our way of life and our economy. We are thrilled to see hemp come back and look forward to Pennsylvania reclaiming its rightful place as the leader in hemp production.

Happy Independence Day!

~Erica McBride

 

PAHIC Represents Hemp at the CWCBExpo

100_1685The Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council set up a booth at the CWCBExpo at the Javits Center in NYC. It was an overall amazing experience. As a business to business show, it showcased the many different aspects and investment opportunities of the emerging cannabis industry. For entrepreneurs hoping to get a foot in the door of this industry, it’s a very useful event to attend as it gives you loads of tips, like making sure you use a specialist CBD Marketing agency to help you stand out from the crowd.

Of course medical cannabis was the dominate industry represented. This is currently the arena where most states have laws on the books and where there are the most investment and business opportunities. A huge portion of the exhibitors there including yoursnutrition had something to do with CBD. All of the other ‘hemp’ displays were CBD related. While in many ways this was not surprising, it was a little bit disappointing.

100_1694Yes, CBD is extracted from hemp. Yes, CBD is where the money is right now. Yes, CBD has tremendous medical value, the scope of which we have only scratched the surface. It is also being used for vaping. If you’re finding it hard to find your refills. You may want to check out the cbd vape cartridge for sale on eBay?

Yet as the CBD industry continues to explode and as the FDA begins to crack down on CBD products, it seems inevitable that it will eventually be dominated by big business and/or big agriculture. The market is already becoming saturated.

While we wholeheartedly support farmers and business owners benefiting from the boom while it lasts, when we look to the future of industrial hemp we have a much larger vision. Hemp is so much more than just a source of CBD. Even if CBD as a medication is exploding in popularity everywhere. Even in countries and locations where medical cannabis is still illegal! As an example if this, see some of the best and most popular CBD companies that create products for the UK CBD market (where marijuana happens to still be illegal) by reading through pages such as this https://kamadevayoga.com/best-cbd-oil-uk/ that reviews into some UK CBD producers and vendors.

Hemp is a vital and too often overlooked aspect of the cannabis industry!

100_1689We were the only exhibit there highlighting ALL of the incredible uses for industrial hemp. This didn’t go without notice either. The vast majority of people that visited our booth were either amazed because, despite being involved or interested in the industry, they had no idea hemp was so versatile – or they knew about hemp’s potential and thanked us for representing the very real business potential for hemp.

100_1667We had a BMW on display to show the potential for auto parts manufacturing. We had beauty products, hempcrete, fiber board, insulation, flooring, clothing and of course many examples of food products. Our hemp long board was wildly popular!

100_1664Pennsylvania Hemp Company’s display of cooking oils made with hemp was a huge hit. Everyone loved it. You know its good when people are willing to take a swig of pure cooling oil! A prominent NYC restaurant even featured it at a VIP dinner for sponsors and exhibitors.

The next CWCBExpo will be held in Los Angeles this September. We look forward to participating in that as we continue our quest to make sure that everyone gets to truly KNOW Hemp!

~Erica McBride

PAHIC Hosts Hemp History Week Event at State Capitol

download (2)June 6th marks the beginning of the 7th annual Hemp History Week, which is a nationwide effort to educate and promote federal hemp legislation.

PAHIC is using the opportunity to hold an educational forum & press conference to encourage the passage of Pennsylvania’s Hemp legislation.

While both the senate and house hemp bills have passed unanimously, neither has yet to reach the governor’s desk. We need a final push and show of support to get this legislation passed so we can begin to build the industry.

There will be a display showcasing the many diverse uses of hemp and free samples too!

PAHIC has a fantastic line up of speakers:

HHW_Speakers_2

Hemp Historian and Author, Les Stark
Prime Sponsor of SB50, State Senator Judy Schwank
Prime Sponsor HB967, State Representative Russ Diamond
Dept. of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Hannah Smith Brubaker
SB50 Sponsor, State Senator Mike Folmer
HB967 Sponsor, State Representative Marty Flynn
Former Phil. Flyer, founder of Hemp Heals, Riley Cote
Pennsylvania Farmers Union board member, Michael Kovach
Pennsylvania Hemp Company Owner, Adam Thompson
PAHIC Secretary/Treasurer, Erica McBride
PAHIC President, Geoff Whaling

This event is free and open to the public. Please join us to learn about the past and future of hemp in Pennsylvania and show support for the final passage of hemp legislation in PA!

PRESS CONTACTS:

Geoff Whaling – 610-554-6929 – GeoffWhaling@pahic.org

Erica McBride – 610-468-2311 –  EricaMcbride@pahic.org 

Hemp Means Business

GrowYourBusiness PAHIC is a proud partner with the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo June 15-17 2016. This will be the first time hemp will be included with its own ‘Hemp Means Business’ pavilion and lounge. I’m sure many in that lounge would enjoy cannabis consulting. The 3rd Annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo is the leading forum for doing business in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. If you’re employed in the hemp or cannabis industry, a current business owner, interested in starting a hemp or cannabis business, find out more about the cannabusiness, provide private equity & investment resources, or provide professional or business services, this is an event you can’t afford to miss! Full opportunity details here. expo

Hemp for Brownfields, Green Spaces and Gardens in Pennsylvania

Hemp_BioremediationOne of the most underrated aspects of industrial hemp is its use for land reclamation and remediation. Below are excerpts from a very insightful report written by T.J. Cole for Messiah College. With the combination of brilliant young minds and this type of vision for hemp, we will help ensure a greener, healthier and sustainable future for all of us. The full report here. PAHIC is committed to exploring and promoting all of the positive environmental uses for hemp.

garden-shotWhile it is universally known in sustainability that urban areas lack access to healthy, local food, and green space, few people outside the field seem to know amelioration tactics. Brownfields redevelopment has long been accepted as a means of urban restoration, but it hardly seems to hold true to a scientific dogma. “Gary”, Executive Director of an urban farm non-profit in Pennsylvania, claims to have spent several years adding organic material to his vacant lots and eventually bringing in his own topsoil. With the introduction of all this topsoil, those that work the land require the right storage space for tools on these vacant lots to appropriately restore this land. Some have mentioned storage shed columbia sc could provide some useful garden storage solutions here. When working the land, we imagine “Gary” decided to build his method around what he could work the land with. Though this method worked, and “Gary’s” farm has flourished immensely, it does not seem to have been the most efficient means of conditioning a dilapidated and contaminated soil plot for vegetative growth. With the right tools and determination, anything is possible. Industrial hemp, which is on the verge of legalization in the state of Pennsylvania, has the proven ability to not only withstand contaminated soils, but accumulate the toxins within. Such poor soil qualities are characteristic of brownfields, defined as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

trinity-at-a-distanceVacant lots in urban areas are all potential brownfield sites, which may be phytoremediated via industrial hemp by a state Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) for future development of green spaces or community gardens. A main struggle for starting urban farming businesses seems to be fertile, healthy soil- the state of the ground’s health and its requirements for revitalization discourage one’s initiative for garden growth. Brownfield development in conjunction with industrial hemp will eliminate the first step for urban gardeners’ careers. Proposed here is a phase-oriented restorative research framework on using higher education institutes to do research on hemp as a phytoremediator on urban brownfields, which will facilitate creation of green spaces and urban gardens for local communities. However, to begin cultivating these opens spaces for gardening use, these spaces need to be cleared. These communities will require equipment to complete these tasks, such as gardeners, rakes, weed whackers, and leaf blowers, some of which could be viewed from online reviews similar to this Echo PB-580T Backpack Blower Review as well as other places online.

d70f59110ff6e34a90ceb73c8c2af8c1Brownfields redevelopment is a trademark of sustainable land use due to the economic and societal benefits of restoring an underused urban parcel being greater than similar development on greenfields. Goals of the smart-growth movement mesh well with those of brownfield redevelopment. Successful restoration of urban land includes integrated decision making, public involvement, and measureable outcomes for sustainability embodied in program designs. A challenge of brownfields redevelopment is the enormity of such a task- a 2004 report by the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) and the Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMW) predicts that there could be as many as one million brownfield sites nationwide.

hemp-educate-yourselfOne acre of hemp has the ability to produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Little to no pesticides are used for hemp as well, and a single acre of hemp can produce as much paper as two to four acres of trees; hemp paper is also sturdier than tree paper, can be recycled more frequently, and requires fewer chemical inputs in manufacture. Harvest only comes after about 120 days. The plant’s intricate properties contribute to its four basic uses: food, fiber, fuel, and medicine.

images5R5WX6CYFibers from hemp are extensively used in products including, but not limited, to fabrics and textiles, spun fibers (rope, yarn), paper, carpeting, home furnishings, construction and insulation materials, composites, and auto parts. Hurds, short and woody fibers in hemp’s stalk interior, are used for animal bedding, papermaking, composites and material inputs. Hemp seed and oilcake are useful in various foods and beverages, while having value as an alternative protein source. Oil from hemp seed is found widely in body-care items and nutritional supplements; the seed is also utilized as industrial oils, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The global market for hemp may include more than 25,000 products in the nine submarkets: agriculture, recycling, automotive, textiles, food items, paper, construction materials, furniture, and personal care. A commonly overseen use for hemp, especially before the plant gets to manufacturing operations, is its usefulness in phytoremediation of contaminated soil.

Overall, hemp plants are exceptional against heavy metals in soils, as shown by a study conducted in China. Eighteen cultivars of hemp were tested for tolerance and accumulation of cadmium (Cd) contaminated soils, screened for its potential bioenergy production in Cd-rich soils, and identified for its phytoremedial use. Results showed that all but three of the studied cultivars were considered to be good biodiesel crop candidates for phytoremediation in Cd contaminated soils. Research associates in Pakistan contributed further to deepen the knowledge pool research on hemp’s phytoremedial potential cadmium plus four other heavy metals.

cannabis2Bradiation-1Hemp makes a premium candidate for phytoremediation due to high biomass, long roots and a short life cycle. Hemp also has a high capability to absorb and accumulate heavy metals (HMs) lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and chromium. Hemp was planted in the contaminated soils of the Chernobyl disaster site in the Ukraine, and it was revealed that the plant can take up considerable amounts of HMs from contaminated soil thanks to high biomass and deep roots. Another reported study elected hemp as the best bioaccumulator of Cd out of eight potential energy crops. In the future, the brownfields redevelopment industry may want to consider phytoremedial hemp as the starting tool for urban improvement, but progress does not stop here.

bfhomepagefinalHemp phytoremediation is a new potential first step in the process of brownfields redevelopment. Once the soil is detoxified, and the hemp is cleared, implementation of cover crops must ensue to nurture the soil. State voluntary cleanup programs (VCPs) and volunteers of the surrounding community must band together for the formation of green spaces. In a perfect world, the green space will either remain in place indefinitely, or be transformed into a garden for local food if a willing and qualified gardener shows interest. However, zoning laws will render transformation of a public botanical refuge to a food garden to be a cantankerous endeavor. It would be best to determine into what the brownfield will be converted during the project’s infancy. The EPA offers grants for tasks to make green-space creation possible. Regardless of whether a redeveloped parcel of urban land is rebirthed into green sanctuary in the concrete jungle, or becomes transformed into the community’s supply of local food, there is a broad acknowledgement that a good environment can enhance quality of life while advancing economic competitiveness.

993582-5e221d5a-59c8-11e4-af31-d97275cbed2cWith the rise in urban population, cities must take initiatives to secure future quality of life and food supply with a focus on low income communities, as hierarchical oppression never disappears. Gardens, whether used for green space or food, are important for mental and psychological health for those who live in close proximity. Sprawling land-use patterns and fragmented governance inhibit localities’ abilities for smart-growth strategies and phase-oriented restorative research. Local and city governments must bring together the three tenants of sustainability into decision-making processes by necessity for future healthy food supply and physiological justice for urbanites. The Mayors Climate Protection Act (MCPA), endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, is in support of reducing sprawl, promoting transportation alternatives, supporting green buildings, and cutting city power use. Reason behind this event in June of 2005 was the view upon U.S. mayors that the federal government was failing to enact on climate change and conservation. Urban gardens fall under the MCPA by ameliorating a city’s dependence on imported food and condensing the spread of food sources

How Pennsylvania’s hemp industry will benefit.

10390987_10201769073503609_4569596907248611168_nUrban soil phytoremediation will help the hemp industry get its restart in the two following manners: First, the plant will be advertised in densely populated areas for both its remedial qualities, and its use as starter tool for city improvement. Second, because of the potentially minuscule amount of profit made off of collaborative city-college research projects, Pennsylvania hemp will develop a philanthropic reputation against the pre-existing backdrop of an industrialized society which lauds wealth and materials. Once industrial hemp gets legalized for domestic commercial growth, mercantilism, and manufacture, the public would likely have the desire to support the hemp industry by buying their products. People will learn about the plant’s product potential with its dozens of uses, and they will cry out for commercial growth. Urban phytoremedial hemp will not be feasible for profit, but grown in multiple-acre fields, the resource will be a highly viable market in coming years.

untitledTo conclude, industrial hemp has a long, rigorous path ahead, and higher education institutions, state and city governments, local communities, non-profits, and Pennsylvania’s hemp industry must collaborate to foster a needed renaissance of urban life. Despite hemp having a long road ahead however, there
are plenty of online e-stores that are selling, for instance, hemp oil. One such instance of an online shop for hemp oil is Green Roads World. Also, multidisciplinary approaches must be made, and the state must think critically in its implementation of this revitalized crop to avoid corruption and scandal. End products of industrial hemp will exceed the expertise of every party involved; risks must be taken, money must be spent, and the public must be educated. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the United States’ founding principle; if the government exists to protect the peoples’ three basic rights, it must also implement economy, environment, and social justice. Physical health brings about life and happiness, so when the tools and resources exist to fix the lack of urban residents’ accessibility for life and happiness, but the government fails to enact, then two entities occur: 1.) The government has failed its people, and 2.) Responsibility has been placed on smaller political bodies at the origins and sinks of injustice to help bring about a new era of equality.

Status of Hemp Legislation in PA

untitledWhere we stand

There seems to be some understandable confusion as to where we stand with hemp legislation in Pennsylvania. The root of this confusion is because there are two different hemp bills that have been making their way through the general assembly. SB50 is the senate bill and HB967 is the house bill. While both bills have passed unanimously in their respective chambers, that does not get either bill to the Governor’s desk.

At this point in time HB967 is the bill that we anticipate will move. Right now it is sitting in the Senate Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee. There is a good possibility that it will have some technical amendments made to it that will facilitate the Dept. of Agriculture’s job in getting the program up and running.

We are pushing as hard as we possibly can to get the senate to move it out of committee and back to a floor vote as soon as they come back into session on May 9th. If the bill is not amended it will go straight to the governor’s desk after the full floor vote. If it is amended, then it will have to make a stop back in the house for concurrence before getting to the governor. We have the full support of the governor and we know he will sign the bill as soon as he gets it.

10390987_10201769073503609_4569596907248611168_nWhat does this mean for PA Farmers

Even if we are successful in getting this signed into law the week of May 9th, the Dept of Agriculture needs times to create and implement the program. They will need to apply for and obtain a DEA license which will take about 30 days. Best case scenario, we are looking at mid to late June. Even in this best case scenario it simply is not practical to expect the Dept. of Agriculture to create and implement a hemp program in time for participation this year.

That being said, we are fighting as hard as we can to get at least one true pilot program, through an institute of higher education, started this year. If we are successful it will be a minor miracle and a huge symbolic victory.

I know this is extremely disappointing to all of us that were hoping to have a workable program in place this year. It was not for a lack of trying or for a lack of support in the general assembly. It is simply that the wheels of legislation move slowly and the budget impasse this year was a major set back.

Yet even if we were somehow able to pull off getting a program up and running for this year, it wouldn’t be responsible for us to encourage participation this year. There are many factors to consider as far as what type of hemp to grow and for what purpose, how many acres to start, how to frame the research aspect of the pilot, where to source the seed, what is your target market, etc.

PAHIC board members with the PA Dept of Agriculture.

PAHIC board members with Sec. Redding and key members of the PA Dept. of Agriculture.

Next Steps

Much is still up in the air about what the final licensing fees and regulations will look like. Members of PAHIC met with the Dept. of Ag a short time ago to discuss all aspects of implementation. Those discussions will continue after the legislation is signed into law. What is clear is that the Dept. has already done a lot of preliminary work to be ready and they are committed to creating a long term successful program.

We want every farmer that participates to have a rewarding and successful experience. We will help all of our members through the licensing process. We will host educational forums for farmers to learn about growing hemp from other experienced hemp farmers. We will work to connect farmers with processors to establish markets. We will continue to educate the general public about hemp, its many benefits and why they should seek out and purchase hemp products. In short we are dedicated to doing everything we can and exploring every possibility to ensure that Pennsylvania takes its rightful place as the leader in the hemp industry.

Please consider becoming a member not only to support our efforts but to also be the first to know as things progress and to get personal assistance in participation.

While I know its not happening as fast as any of us would like, we are on the right path and working together we WILL create a thriving industry!

 

 

Hemp Moves a Step Closer in PA

GREEN-jpg This has been a downright historic week in Pennsylvania. Wednesday PA went green with the long fought for passage of SB3, the medical cannabis bill. In the flood of well-deserved media coverage the passage through the PA Senate of SB50, the Industrial Hemp Act, went largely unnoticed. Although medical cannabis can now be obtained, people who would like to use it for their aliments are required to get a medical cannabis card – see how to get a medical mj card in missouri or clinic near you.

imagesSince its bi-partisan introduction in February 2015 by State Senators Judy Schwank and Mike Folmer, SB50 has not received a single ‘no’ vote as it moved through each stage up to and including Wednesday’s full floor vote. It has indeed sailed through. We will always be grateful and appreciative of our champions. Senator Schwank in particular deserves special thanks for her leaderships on this issue. She has spoken up at every opportunity and has done a fantastic job educating her fellow members on the importance of this crop as well has helping to get the Dept. of Agriculture excited for hemp’s potential. If you are interested in finding out more about medical cannabis or hemp you can Visit this website to learn more.

untitledHemp had recently been described as perhaps the ‘least sexy but most common sense’ aspect of cannabis reform. While true, it is also unfortunate. Without the emotional impact and urgency associated with medical cannabis it can be challenging to get the same level of excitement for hemp. If you want to improve the excitement that you have for hemp then why don’t you take a look at something like this best dry herb atomizer? Few realize that agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania. If you are not a farmer most don’t think much about it, yet it could not be more important. Whether directly or indirectly, hemp will benefit every single Pennsylvanian. We can all learn more about hemp, that is obvious. So reading a hemp blog or two would do us all some good.

It’s easy to see how hemp will benefit farmers. It is a lucrative cash crop, replenishes soil when used as a rotational crop, helps with erosion control, requires little to no irrigation or pesticides and will play an important role in sustainable farming practices.

Banner - WebFor the average citizen the reintroduction of this once vibrant industry will mean the creation of much needed new jobs both in processing and manufacturing. Having domestic hemp will bring costs of hemp products down so everyone can benefit from its tremendous nutritional and skin care value along with the literally tens of thousands of other products that can be made with hemp. Using hemp for land remediation, especially in the coal regions, could see many acres of unusable land put back into productive use. We all know that moving away from fossil fuels is imperative. Hemp has a large biomass and will help us reach our goals for clean and sustainable energy.

PAHIC is proud to be playing an instrumental part in bringing about this important legislation and helping getting it across the finish line. We have big plans to ensure that the hemp industry once again thrives and that Pennsylvania is the leader. The fate of this legislation and whether or not we can get started this year now rests on the House of Representatives and how quickly they move. PAHIC in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Farmers Union will be holding a lobby day on Monday the 21st to educate members and help them understand exactly how important this is.

Hemp_BioremediationImagine a world where we are no longer decimating our land, poisoning our air and water with the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. A world where we start making a positive impact on our environment and reversing climate change by the cultivation of hemp. Where we stop needlessly destroying trees and stop filling our landfills with non biodegradable products. Imagine a world were we not only live in harmony with our environment by using green energy but also enjoy a booming economy from our new found sustainability. Working together we don’t have to merely image it, we will make it reality. Please consider becoming a member of PAHIC to help support our efforts.

Food, fuel, green building products, textiles, plastic replacing composites, medicines, animal feed and bedding, the list of benefits goes on and on. It is worth getting excited about.

Spread the word. Its time that everyone gets to KNOW Hemp!

~Erica McBride

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