Tag Archives: industrial cannabis

The Most Misunderstood Plant

Cannabis must be the most misunderstood plant on the face of the planet.  Even among it’s supporters there is a great deal of misunderstanding.

It’s detractors would have you believe that the plant or it’s use is at it’s worst akin to being in league with the devil himself.  Among the many things it is said to have caused is Rape, Murder, Child Abuse, Mental Illness, among a slew of medical ailments.

It’s proponents are generally falling into one of three camps.   Industrial Hemp,  Medical Marijuana, and Recreational Marijuana.  While each of the groups would like to see the other succeed in their actions many times they oppose each other when they shouldn’t be.

The problem comes from a single chemical found in the Cannabis Plant  THC.  THC is the active psychoactive chemical associated with the high that people get from ingesting or smoking the plant or it’s extracts.  THC is a drug that has been made synthetically pure in a pill or liquid form, is FDA approved, and is available from the pharmacy for certain medical conditions.  The DEA doesn’t even really track how much THC is made or used in the US, it’s a low schedule drug.  However when it comes to the plant well it’s a totally different situation.

So what’s the problem.  Hemp proponents would have you believe that Cannabis with a THC content below a certain percentage is “Hemp” and not Marijuana.  They believe that by reducing the THC content of the plant to a point that it isn’t desirable for medical or recreational purposes that they will be able to grow the plant and use if for it’s industrial purposes.  They hope that this will allow the mass cultivation of Cannabis across the United States and world.

While it’s true that Cannabis can be breed to have a low THC content, it’s the fiber and other parts of the plant including the tops that contain the multi-level value that farmers need to succeed with the crop.  Fiber content can be breed into the plant just as THC can be breed out, but no one knows if the fiber is being affected by the concentration on THC content.  Look at it this way, Breeders of plants for cultivation do not look at the chemical makeup of the plant they look at what it is their customers want.  In the case of Cannabis there are customers for all parts of the plant from it’s fiber to it’s various Cannabinoids.

Cannabis is a unique plant.  You can grow Cannabis in a manner similar to how industrial Cannabis is grown and produce not only high quality fiber, hurds, but also the top itself for medical and recreational purposes.  Looking at a field of Cannabis you can not determine if it is low THC Cannabis or High THC Cannabis.  It’s simply not possible.   So the THC content of the field only is important to law enforcement.  This would be absurd if applied to other crops.  There is no evidence that the THC content of Cannabis produces anything better than any other variety of Cannabis.

There is no reason to breed out the THC from Cannabis for the crop to be successful.  Actually the cultivation of large quantities of low THC Cannabis near medical or recreational Cannabis will result in crossbreeding.  This crossbreeding will result in seed stock of each grower that has a THC content different from that of it’s original plants and presents all kinds of problems.

There is no reason, other than political, to regulate the amount of THC that can be produced by a Cannabis plant to determine it’s use.  Cannabis is Cannabis, while there might be varietal differences just as there is with all other crops and plants, doesn’t change the fact that it is still Cannabis.

For government to set an arbitrary limit on the THC content for it to be “Industrial Hemp” is insanity at it’s finest.   For proponents of the use of Cannabis for it’s industrial applications to allow this is even more insane.  It’s not known how THC interacts with the fiber quality, quantity and other factors of the plants ability to survive diseases.  For THC to be used as something that needs to be controlled is simply not going to work in the long run.

It’s time for Industrial Cannabis people to stop hiding behind the word Hemp and make any attempt to discriminate themselves into legalization.  I say this from being an Industrial Hemp Advocate.  For years I focused on it’s industrial applications.  When pushed I said it’s possible to breed out THC and that many countries had, but it wasn’t necessary.  It gave me an opportunity but the opportunity has been used and worked.  I personally talked more about Industrial use than even Medical use.  Now, Cannabis is Cannabis, is Cannabis you simply can’t have one without the other as they are so inter-related that the more we discover the more we may regret allowing low THC Cannabis to be something different than the Medical and Recreationally used Cannabis.



The State of The States, Cannabis

wss_skunk_cured_budEvery year the president, governors, city leaders give a state of the state address so we thought why not make a state of the states for Cannabis.  We’ve been able to kinda find all the laws as they are now, subject to change in Nov, so people can see the number of states that have legalized cannabis for one use or another.

It’s actually a pretty impressive list, a few years ago this list would have been much shorter

Alaska Stat. §§ 17.37.010 et seq. (medical), §§ 17.38.010 et seq. (recreational);
Arizona Rev. Stat. §§ 36-2801 et seq. (medical);
California Health & Safety Code §§ 11362.5 et seq. (medical);
Colorado Rev. Stat. §§ 12-43.3-101 et seq. (medical), §§ 12-43.4-101 et seq. (recreational);
Connecticut Gen. Stat. §§ 21a-408 et seq. (medical);
Delaware Code Ann. tit. 16, §§ 4901A et seq. (medical);
D.C. Code §§ 7.1671.01 et seq.(medical);
Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 329-121 et seq. (medical);
Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 130/1 et seq.(medical);
Maine Rev. Stat. tit. 22, §§ 2421 et seq. (medical);
Maryland Code Ann. Health-Gen §§ 13-3301 et seq. (medical);
Massachusetts Ann. Laws ch. 94C, §§ Appx. 1 et seq. (medical);
Michigan Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 333.26421 et seq. (medical);
Minnesota Stat. Ann. §§ 152.27 et seq. (medical);
Nevada Rev. Stat. §§ 453A.___ [2015 ch. 401, § 29] et seq. (medical);
New Hampshire Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 126-X:2 et seq. (medical);
New Jersey Stat. Ann. §§ 24:6I-1 et seq. (medical);
New Mexico Stat. Ann. §§ 26-2B-1 et seq. (medical);
New York CLS Pub. Health Law §§ 1004.1 et seq. (medical);
Oregon Rev. Stat. §§ 475.300 et seq. (medical), Or. Rev. Stat. §§ ___.___ [2015 c.1, § 3] et seq. (recreational);
Rhode Island Gen. Laws §§ 21-28.6-1 et seq. (medical);
Vermont Stat. Ann. tit. 18 §§ 4472 et seq. (medical);
Washington. Rev. Code §§ 69.51A et seq. (medical), Rev. Code §§ 69.50.360, 69.50.363, 69.50.66, 69.50.401 (recreational).


U of MN Cannabis Project Goes Unfunded

ChromatogramEveryone talks about it, everyone wants to do it, but no one seems to want to pay for it.  That’s the problem the University of Minnesota Cannabis Hemp project is having a problem with.  Having over a decade of Research into Cannabis it’s a shame that this work isn’t funded properly.

They already have all the registration in place with the DEA so that they are allowed to cultivate, manufacture, Cannabis.  They have already grown and have done extensive research into the Genome of various cannabis varieties.  Unfortunately right now their research is stalled due to lack of funding.

They have a number of published articles like this one.   U of MN Study explains why hemp and marijuana are different.    “:”Given the diversity of cultivated forms of Cannabis, we wanted to identify the genes responsible for differences in drug content,” says U of M plant biologist George Weiblen. While marijuana is rich in psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp produces mostly a non-euphoric cannabidiol (CBD), but the genetic basis for this difference was a matter of speculation until now.” (Professor Website)

They even offer Cannabis DNA TestingMarijuanaDNA“There are essentially three kinds of forensic evidence to be obtained from the marijuana plant and its derivatives: (1) quantification of drug potency, (2) inference of growth conditions or geographic sources from elemental isotopes, and (3) genetic identity from DNA evidence.” additionally “Our laboratory is registered with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to perform analytical testing of Cannabis DNA.  Such analyses are admissible in American courts of law and find application in drug enforcement, criminal investigation, prosecution and defense. One hundred milligrams per sample is sufficient for analysis. Cannabis held in evidence by state or federal law enforcement agencies is eligible for testing. We apply the exact method used in human DNA fingerprinting, using DEA-approved procedures for handling controlled substances. We provide independent, unbiased forensic analysis according to the highest standards of laboratory practice.” (Professor Website)

They were part of a Wild Minnesota Race Cannabis collection in 2015The Industrial Hemp Development Act of 2015 allowed researchers from the University of Minnesota to collect wild hemp to be studied. On Wednesday, researchers scoured the overgrown grounds of Fort Snelling for the wild cannabis.  “These belong to the same species as marijuana,” Dr. George Weiblen said. “They’re treated as controlled substances, by law.” Weiblen and Jonathan Wenger have been studying hemp for more than a decade.” (KSTP-5 News)

Check out his website and lets see if we can get him the funding he needs.

U of MN Cannabis Project Website

The History of Hemp For Victory

hempforvictory-300x300The history of the re-discovery of USDA film “Hemp for Victory.”  The 1942 film encouraging the nations farmers how they could help the Allies win World War II by growing hemp to make rope and other materials for Military and Civilian Uses.
As far as has been documented by The Institute we determine that William Conde in Oregon found a copy of the film Hemp for Victory and informed Jack Herer who at the time was in the final edits of his book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”.  Copies of this film were distributed by coping copies and passing them on.
the_emperor_wears_no_clothesIn 1989, Jack Herer, together with Chris Wright, went to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to locate the original copy of the obscure propaganda film.  After several days of physically searching for the film they were unable to locate anything within the National Archives.
The Institute began looking for a copy of the film after getting one of these hand-me-down copies.  We first searched the University of Minnesota Agricultural Library system and were told they did at one time have the film but “it had been removed from the library.”  Other paper documents from the War era showed that the film had been made.
The Institute called the USDA in DC and began the process of going from office to office and forwarded and forwarded until finally someone said that any material that old would have been turned over to the National Archives.
The Institute called the National Archives and spoke with an archivist.  At first the archivist needed an ID number or something to search their database for.  Having no number made it difficult.  John asked them to search for the word Hemp in the film archive.  BINGO, Hemp for Victory was discovered.  In an instant a copy of the film was ordered to be made from the original 35mm Films held by the Archive.
Hemp-For-VictoryIn May of 1990 a copy of the film from an official government source was uncovered and revealed to a waiting world

Specific Media Type: Film Reel
Color: Black-and-White
Dimension: Film: 35 mm
Format: Film: MPC
Reel/Tape/Disc Number: 1
Element Number: 1
Specific Media Type: Film Reel
Color: Black-and-White
Dimension: Film: 35 mm
Footage: 690
Format: Film: MPC
Reel/Tape/Disc Number: 2
Element Number: 1

The History of Cannabis

Cannabis use can be documented as far back as 2700BC(1) in ancient Chinese writings.  These writings tell us that cannabis was used by the Chinese for a variety of uses.  These included fiber, oil, and as a medicine.  By 450bc history tells us that cannabis was being cultivated in the mid-east region.  From Afghanistan to Egypt hemp was cultivated for its fiber, medical and recreational use.  It appears that Cannabis was first introduced into Europe around 500AD.  It is known that cannabis was in wide cultivation in Europe by the 16th century.  It was cultivated for it’s fiber and seed.  The seed was cooked with barley and other grains and eaten.

In 1537 Dioscorides called the plant Cannabis Sativa, the scientific name that stands to this day as the plant’s true name.  He notes it’s use in “the stoutest cords” and also its medicinal properties(2)

Cannabis was introduced into Chile about 1545(3) where it was grown for fiber.  Cannabis was introduced into New England soon after Puritan Immigrants settled, noting that it grew “twice so high”(4)

In Virginia the early legislature passed many acts to promote the cannabis industry.  Before the revolution cannabis seems to have flourished in the area around Lancaster PA.

Cannabis was first grown in Kentucky in 1775(5).  In 1802 two extensive Ropewalks were built in Lexington Kentucky to make rope from the cannabis being grown in the area.  There was also announced a new machine that could break “eight thousand weight of hemp per day”(6), a huge quantity and step forward for the cannabis fiber industry.

Cannabis spread to other states including Missouri by 1835, Illinois by 1875, Nebraska by 1887, California by 1912(7) Minnesota by 1880(8), Wisconsin and Iowa by the early 1900’s.

The industrial cultivation was stalled by Federal legislation in 1937 bu the imposition of a heavy tax on producers known as the Marijuana Tax Act.

By 1940 the US Government reduced the tax so that production could take place during WWII.  During WWII the industry flourished in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky where farmers were encouraged to grow it for the war.  The Film “Hemp for Victory” produced by the USDA explained to farmers the need for hemp for the war effort.

After WWII with the heavy tax back in place the commercial cultivation declined until the last documented crop was grown at the University of Minnesota in 1968 (9).

1 – Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture, L Dewey, 1913 pg 296

2- Dioscorides. Medica Materia, li bri sex, 1537, page 147

3- USDA Bureau of Plant Industry, Bulletin #153, Husbands, Jose D, 1909, page 42

4- Yearbook of the USDA Dewey, 1913 pg 291

5- A study of the past, the present and future of the hemp industry in Kentucky, Moore, Brent, 1905, page 16

6- Travels to the West of the Alleghenies, Michaux, Andre, 1805 page 152

7- Yearbook of the USDA, L Dewey, 1913 page 293

8- Hemp in Minnesota during the War Time Emergency, Schoenrock, Ruth, 1966, page 15

9 – Robinson, Bob, Dr.  Hemp Experimenter at UofM 1960-1968 199