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Apalachee Regional Planning Council Hopes To Strengthen Northwest Florida's Hemp Industry

hemp fields

The Apalachee Regional Planning Council hopes to attract an industrial hemp processing plant to Florida's Big Bend. The council's Melissa Franklin says the nearest processing plant for the state's northwestern hemp farmers is more than three hours away.

"Having a processor within range of the farmers—it's an essential component. If you can't process the crop once it's been harvested, then it's dead in the water," Franklin says.

Franklin says bringing a plant closer to the region will help strengthen the local industry's supply chain.


Kentucky Hemp Association Furious Over Delta-8 THC Raids

hemp field

The Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) has made its stance very clear regarding recent police raids on hemp stores in the state.

The KYHA alleges State Troopers last week raided two lawful hemp retail stores, looking for Delta-8 THC products.

While Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis, it is only present in very small quantities. But it can be created through the manipulation of cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. The increasing popularity and availability of delta-8 is causing headaches for industry, lawmakers and law enforcement.

KYHA says the troopers seized “hemp products, money, cameras, terrorized the store owners and charged their employees with trafficking.”


First hemp vodka in Texas makes its way to Austin

Highway Hemp Vodka team

From humble origins in a horse barn to booming sales in three states, Texas' first hemp vodka distillery has become one of the fastest-growing Black distilleries in the U.S. in just a few years of business. Their latest stop? Austin, Texas.

Highway Vodka, founded by partners Ben Williams and Wendell Robbins III, is available for sale at over 25 retailers in Austin alongside cities across Texas, Georgia, Florida and California. The company, which is the first Black-owned distillery in the state of Texas, is almost growing too quickly—Williams said they're looking to slow down for a second before they spread too thin.

"We don't have any outside investors or anything like that, so I want to make sure I know what I'm doing," Williams said.


Hemp seed breeders need academic research to solve total THC problem

hemp seeds

Hemp seed breeders must collaborate with academic-run, varietal trials to tackle hemp’s total THC problem and move the industry forward, says Matt Haddad, CEO of Trilogene Seeds, an award-winning hemp seed breeder.

“Ninety-five percent of all the hemp grown last year was marijuana. It went hot,” Haddad says. “We need to bring more academic analysis to these hemp varietals, especially with the .3 total THC iron fist coming down.”


Massachusetts amendment pushes for CBD in food, sale of hemp flowers

A proposed amendment in Massachusetts would allow for the addition of hemp-derived CBD ingredients to food, dietary supplements and animal feed, and permit the sale of hemp flowers to consumers.

A vote on Amendment 130 in the state Senate is expected this week while the Massachusetts House of Representatives is to consider a parallel bill with similar language in a virtual public hearing on June 1. In the Senate, the amendment was filed by Sen. Diana DiZoglio, a Democrat from Methuen, as part of the 2021 budget.

CCC guidance is limiting

For now, CBD can only be used as an ingredient in non-food products, and may not be marketed in dietary supplements, under guidance recently issued by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).


Hemp is becoming the fashionable alternative to conventional fabrics

Local, organically sourced and upcycled materials are now essentials for the fashion industry, which is trying to reinvent itself in order to reduce its impact on the environment.

Like linen, hemp is one of the fibres that could well take over our wardrobes in the months and years to come.


One need only take a look at the new collections of most ready-to-wear brands, including fast fashion giants, to realise that the textile industry is gradually turning to sustainable materials.

It includes organic for some, but also plant-based, and particularly materials whose cultivation requires less water, no or few pesticides, and, icing on the cake, can be done locally.


Increasing Global Lumber Prices May Help Hemp Industry

Lumber has been one of the most common building materials in construction for a very long time.

It is not the most popular building material on earth, as that distinction goes to concrete. However, wood is still very popular and has been for centuries.

Houses, wagons, bridges, and a number of other things have been made out of wood in many different countries throughout the world both historically and currently.

Unfortunately, prices for lumber have increased exponentially this year, which may ultimately prove to be a blessing to the global hemp industry.


20% of Indiana's hemp crop was destroyed last year because it had too much THC

Fifth-generation farmer Mark Davidson spent his entire life in chronic pain — until he tried CBD oil, and it changed his life. 

Davidson jumped on board when Indiana legalized growing hemp for CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant that is used for relieving pain, anxiety and other health issues, hoping to help others who were suffering. 

But then his best-laid plans went up in smoke. Literally.

In 2019, Davidson was forced to burn 1.5 acres of his hemp crop. 

“We had to burn more than $100,000 worth of product, which was heartbreaking and disheartening,” he said. “It was like seeing all this medicine going up in smoke.”


Green Light For Minnesota’s Revised Hemp Plan

Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture has welcomed the USDA’s approval of the state’s revised hemp plan.

The state’s original plan was approved in July last year, but after modifications were made to the USDA’s rules Minnesota needed to file a new plan.

Some of the changes included random sampling of fields being based on risk factors of the crop, allowing remediation of crops if plants exceed the 0.3% total THC threshold but test under 1%, and an extension of the testing window before harvest from 15 days to 30 days.


USDA Using Hemp Oil to Make ‘Cosmeceuticals’

As it regulates hemp production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is simultaneously researching and developing end uses for the crop.

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Peoria, Ill.-based Midwest Bioprocessing Center (MBC) are working together to expand the market for hemp seed oil into new cosmetic ingredients.


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