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How Organic Cultivation Is Transforming Hemp Agriculture

marijuana plants

Rocky Mountain Extraction Services (RMES) has come a long way since incorporating 18 months ago.

The 2018 Hemp Farming Act was the catalyst, although opening their doors wasn’t quite so simple.

“Originally, we felt like [the Hemp Farming Act] was a green light,” says CTO Jerry Van Sickle. “What we found was that it was more of a yellow light.”

RMES office in the morning. Photo courtesy of RMES.


South Carolina farmers can apply now to grow hemp for 2021 season

marijuana plant close up

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture will accept applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021 growing season from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2021.

The state's Hemp Farming Program has grown from 20 farmers in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020 - and each year, the program has changed as state and federal laws changed. When the federal government approved South Carolina's State Hemp Plan in April 2020, the program entered a new period of regulatory stability, one that SCDA expects to continue in 2021. The agency now has six full-time staffers devoted to hemp regulation.

Requirements to receive a hemp farming permit include:


New mix brings hemp into home baking

Baking Innovation, a consulting firm based in Philadelphia, has developed Hemp N’ Seeds, a rustic French bread mix for home bakers. The first commercial production will be available early in 2021, said Richard Charpentier, owner.

The mix creates bread with 19 grams of whole grains per slice along with 14 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. The mix contains hemp protein and hemps seeds, both of which are viewed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are seeds that have been hulled or shelled while hemp protein is the powder form of hemp seeds,” said Mr. Charpentier, a certified master baker (CMB) who previously worked for companies such as Flowers Foods, Inc. and Hostess Brands.


Interest in Hemp Fiber Rising as Farmers Look to 2021

hemp crop

In 2020, cannabinoid production undoubtedly continued to steal the hemp show. According to a recent survey by market analytics firm Hemp Benchmarks, nearly 90% of growers opted to cultivate hemp either for cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG).

But excitement has been simmering for another segment of the hemp market: hemp fiber.

With the potential to produce both bast and hurd that can be the basis for thousands of products, hemp fiber holds tremendous promise for the industry, and it’s where many industry leaders believe the future of hemp lies in the long-term.


Another Push To Raise Hemp THC Limit In The USA

up close shot of a marijuana twig

U.S. Senator Rand Paul has introduced the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (H.E.M.P) Act of 2020 that seeks to significantly boost the maximum THC limit of hemp.

A major challenge for hemp farmers in the USA is the THC limit currently in place – 0.3%. Crops over this level are considered “hot” and must be destroyed. It’s a double-whammy as not only do affected farmers have the crops they’ve toiled over destroyed, they often have to also pay for their destruction. Additionally, they may be prosecuted.

The current THC limit restricts the choice of hemp varieties US farmers can cultivate, putting them at a disadvantage on the international scene as a number of other countries allow for higher THC content crops.


Giant hemp grower to buy marijuana cultivation license in Illinois

marijuana plants

Red White and Bloom Brands Inc. announced Thursday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Cannabis Capital Partners Inc., and with it rights to purchase a cannabis cultivation center in downstate Shelbyville, the company stated in a news release.

The 24,000-square-foot grow house to be purchased is run by Shelbyville County Community Services, a not-for-profit mental health group that employs people in rehabilitation.

Red White and Bloom, through its subsidiary Mid-American Growers Inc., operates a 3.6 million-square-foot greenhouse in Granville, just west of Starved Rock State Park.


Rand Paul introduces bill to boost hemp THC limits

Image of Senator Rand Paul

The bill would raise THC limits from 0.3 per cent to one per cent.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill on Tuesday that could raise the THC limits on industrial hemp in the U.S. from 0.3 per cent to one per cent.

In a statement, Paul said conversations with Kentucky hemp farmers and processors informed the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act of 2020.

Currently, any hemp crops that test above 0.3 per cent must be destroyed.

Historically, Kentucky has been the U.S.’s leading hemp producer, though production was mostly banned for nearly 45 years following federal policies introduced in 1970.


Plant Hemp Trees & Save the Bees

bee flying towards a marijuana plant


Bees Love Cannabis Too!

In the American agricultural landscape, industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa (Cannabaceae), is a newly developed and rapidly growing crop. Hemp lacks nectar but, as an exclusively wind-pollinated crop, produces an abundance of pollen in agricultural landscapes during a period of time referred to as floral dearth. Researchers have found that a number of bee species are attracted to these pollen plumes, yet the diversity of floral visitors and their use of hemp in a variety of agricultural contexts remains uncertain.


Hemp Program Lighting Up Florida Agriculture

fields of marijuana plants

Hemp is blazing among Florida’s agriculture inventory in the seven months since it was first allowed to be legally grown in the Sunshine State, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told business leaders Tuesday. Fried said 22,078 acres are currently licensed for hemp, nearly equal to the acreage in Florida of tomatoes, watermelon and snap peas, and double the strawberry production.


Hemp takes one step closer to commercial growth in Kansas

field of marijuana plants

On Monday, the state conducted a public hearing for allowing industrial hemp to be grown commercially in Kansas. Last year, the crop was grown for research purposes.

Unless there are substantial objections to the proposed plan, the ruling should go into effect on or near Jan. 1, 2021. This would mean farmers in Kansas can grow commercial industrial hemp starting next year.


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