Seattle Hempfest Review

10 09 2012

Hempfest 2012On August 17th was official opened the twenty-first Hempfest in Seattle, the biggest event in the marijuana industry! More than 300.000 persons attended what is now the biggest hemp fair in the USA. Many hemp products were on presentation and lectures were held.

As the organizers describe it on their website, “Each year, we give birth to a beautiful, bouncing Seattle Hempfest. Each year her gestation is different, The City and Parks Departments remold her and force us into a model of constant redesign. It’s amazing how it almost becomes Hempfest from scratch each year. Not a year has gone by in the past decade where they didn’t impede us with a construction project or other restriction that threatens our existence.” And this year was no exception!

Ballot measures to legalize marijuana are sprinting toward the polls in three Western states in November. Marijuana supporters say Washington’s vote on Initiative 502 is important to maintain national momentum on an issue that is beginning to see steady gains in popular support.

But the pro-marijuana community here is deeply divided over the measure. Beneficiaries of the state’s medical marijuana law fear that legalizing and regulating pot use would subject pot patients to potential arrest under the measure’s strict impaired-driving provisions.

Source: Huffington Post





French newspaper Le Figaro warns of cannabis cyber-police and fictional worldwide cannabis seed shipping

31 03 2011

In these times of increasing repression in France, national daily ‘Le Figaro’ shows its true colours as a propaganda tool rather than a source of factual information.

An article published on the website of Le Figaro last week (23rd March 2011)  aroused our curiosity as, in addition to vague threats about cyberpolice, it mentioned the well-known cannabis seed company Sensi Seeds on several occasions.

Picture used to illustrate what you can buy online, according to the paper

Fact or propaganda? An extract from the beginning of the article states:

“ [Based] In the Netherlands, the Sensi Seed website unapologetically advertises their ‘cannabis seedbank’ in all languages. They sell complete culture tents, similar in size  to wardrobes, ‘bloom boosters’ and even teach how to ‘grow with the Moon,’ to optimize growth according to the lunar calendar. From “Shiva Shanti” at 20 euros for ten seeds to the “Marley’s Collie”, 120 euros, “a strain of ganja celebrated by the great Bob Marley”, the bank offers hundreds of varieties. And even accessories: caps, t-shirts, playing cards. Everything is available worldwide, sent in express parcels.” Read the rest of this entry »





Canadian “hemp car” to be on the market by 2013

15 03 2011

 

Soon, you’ll be able to drive hemp. Literally, thanks to the Kestrel car, named after the colorful raptor.

 

The first electric car with hemp-biocomposite body
Meet the Kerstel and its hemp composite body

Right now, Canadian company Motive Industries, Inc., is testing the materials for a biocomposite hybrid electric car made from hemp and other natural and synthetic fibers. If all goes according to plan, Motive will finish its prototype mid-2011, and make the car available to the public in late-2012 or -2013, according to Nathan Armstrong, Motive’s president.

The material used to manufacturer the body is impact-resistant composite from hemp mats; these are supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Future (AITF), while hemp is grown in Vegreville, Atlanta. Here’s the kicker, AITF is Crown corporation, owned by the Canadian government.

“Plus, it’s illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage,” said Armstrong to the CBC.

The four-passenger, three-door electric vehicle—created to showcase new automotive technology coming out of Canada—can reach speeds of almost 85 mph. It’s the result of Project Eve, a for-profit collaboration aimed at combining “Canadian skills for the purpose of producing and supporting Canadian electric vehicles and components,” according to Project Eve’s website.

The Kestrel’s a solid step in that direction. “It won’t have any smell. It should be quieter. It should be warmer,” Armstrong says. “The vibrations that we get from the natural fibers are actually quite pleasant.” Plus, he adds, the car’s safer in a crash because it springs back rather than crumbles into a squished-metal ball.

Because of the nascence of the technology being used, Motive doesn’t yet understand how long-term wear and tear will affect the biocomposite car. However, the idea’s to create something durable and easy to repair. If it comes to fruition, “we’re really leaning toward something that’s going to last a long, long time,” Armstrong says.

CBC is reporting that several battery options will be available making the hemp electric vehicle affordable to many people.

Where does the reference to the colorful kestrel come in? “It was initially because we were using design cues from the bird, for aerodynamics,” Armstrong says, “but later [we] found out the kestrel is quick and nimble but has a limited range—perfect for an EV [electric vehicle]!” Get ready to fly in this lightweight, better-for-the-environment, cool-looking hemp-mobile.

Source: Madbolg.audubon.com





Area 420: Secret Hemp Research Facility Could Save Uruguay!

9 09 2010

Industrial hemp with happy cow, HempFlax, NL

Farming industrial hemp could offer Uruguay a simple and elegant solution to a host of serious environmental problems that are currently damaging the country. Tests by the National Institute for Farming Technology are scheduled to start next month at a secret location and will explore hemp’s potential for production and the suitability of various strains.

Uruguay, a small nation tucked between Brazil and Argentina, and advertised to tourists as ‘A Natural Country’, is rapidly becoming anything but natural. Abnormally large numbers of dead animals, birds and fish have been turning up in the last year and cancer is now the second most common cause of death in the human population. Herbicides, fungicides and pesticides, many of them carcinogenic, are currently being used in massive amounts all across the country. Tragically, many users are small-scale farmers who are not aware of the toxicity of these substances and the dangers they pose. Many farmers do not wear or are unable to afford the necessary protective equipment and the chemicals are often used indiscriminately, without proper instructions.

Industrial hemp, with its fast growth and dense foliage, needs no herbicides to compete with weeds and other plants – it simply outgrows them. This alone would be a massive boon to both the farmers and the ecology of Uruguay. Hemp has proven effective in cleaning pollutants and heavy metals from soil; it is feasible that it could also work for removing agrochemical toxins. Hemp’s composted foliage makes an excellent fertilizer which can replenish vital nutrients in soil, while its deep root system aerates and improves the land. Hemp can actually improve the yields of many other food crops when grown in rotation.

Soy is currently one of Uruguay’s main food crops. Transgenic soy – specifically Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready (RR) soy – covers more than 600,000 hectares of Uruguayan farmland and is closely linked to both ecological and economic problems. RR soy is genetically engineered to be resistant to RoundUp, a highly toxic glyphosate-based herbicide (also invented by Monsanto) which has been banned in several countries. RR soy’s main selling point is that fields in which it is cultivated can be sprayed indiscriminately with RoundUp, which will kill all other plant life while leaving the GM soy intact. Given that RoundUp is toxic to mammals (including humans), birds, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, it goes without saying that widespread and high-volume use is capable of significant environmental damage.

Ingested quantities of RoundUp as small as 85ml can kill humans within hours due to organ failure, and much smaller amounts have been shown to cause endocrine disruption (damage to reproductive development) and genetic damage.

Furthermore the cultivation of RR soy is only economically feasible on a large scale (due to the costs of the patented seed and of the accompanying herbicide), making the crop economically damaging to small farmers. Worse still, RR soy has been found to yield significantly less (~6.7%) than unmodified soy varieties.

The nutritional value of hempseeds is by now widely known; hempseed yields 30% oil by weight compared to the 18% for soy. The balance of essential fatty acids in hempseed is far superior to that of soy and the two crops yield comparable amounts of valuable vegetable protein. Replacing the current soy crop with hemp would only be beneficial for all Uruguayans.

Uruguay is set to become the first South American nation to invest in industrial hemp and hopefully, in the not-to-distant future, this progressive and principled decision will be the catalyst for change in its larger neighbors. Last week, Argentinean film maker Ricardo Manochi visited the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam to shoot footage for a new documentary and to research industrial hemp cultivation and processing in the Netherlands, where pioneering company HempFlax is one of the largest European producers of industrial hemp. He expressed hope that, if the Uruguayan trials succeed, Argentina – where transgenic soy accounts for over half of all agricultural output – will be the next to follow.





Hemp is the short term solution to climate change!

14 07 2010

Hemp can be used as a short term solution to the climate change challenge, simultaneously increasing soil carbon, locking carbon into raw materials and replacing unsustainable raw materials across several industries. It is an adaptable, hardy, multi-purpose crop that can play an important role in reducing and repairing human environmental damage.

Hemp is far less vulnerable to changes in climate compared to slow to medium growth forests and still has the most useful biochemical characteristics of hardwood.  In addition, hemp is a very versatile crop, not just in terms of use value, but also in terms of how it can be managed by farmers.   Growing hemp on deforested hillsides prevent landslides, run-off and also prepares land for future crops or reforestation. Large scale tree planting is not feasible without providing an immediate and sustainable alternative to forest resources used by the majority of the worlds population for cooking heating and raw materials. Hemp produces several metric tons of versatile biomass per hectare annually or bi-annually in hotter climates, potentially protecting old growth forests.





Cannabis Growing in Australia

18 02 2010

Richard Friar growing hemp cannabis australiaRichard Friar, a 66-year-old farmer from Australia, and his wife Wendy are the proud owners of Australia´s first licensed industrial hemp crop to be grown in an urban area.

With permission from the Department of Primary Industries, they are in the first stages of a pilot project aimed at teaching farmers how to grow hemp and commercialise its countless byproducts.

The Friars are hemp evangelists, firm believers in the world-changing potential of this most versatile of plants, which can be used in everything from food to fabrics and building materials.

With permission from the Department of Primary Industries, they are in the first stages of a pilot project aimed at teaching farmers how to grow hemp and commercialise its myriad byproducts.

The Friars’ crop, a mix of Chinese cultivars known as Yellow River and Lulu, is a fine example: the stalks can be used in the textile and construction industries – “they even use it, instead of steel, to reinforce concrete” – while the seeds can be eaten.

In December the couple applied to Food Standards for permission to sell the seed for human consumption, with approval expected early next year.

“They are a real superfood,” Wendy says. “It’s 23 per cent protein, and has more Omega 3 and Omega 6 than virtually any other source, including fish.

”In the early 1800s, Australia was twice saved from famine by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.”

But the couple also plan to become brokers for hemp products, importing seeds and matching overseas and local producers with those undertaking retail or construction projects.

“We want to kickstart consumer demand,” Wendy explains. “It’s hard, though, because hemp has for so long been vilified as a dangerous drug.”

A film-maker, farmer, former horse trainer and grade rugby union player, Mr Friar has long been interested in permaculture and recycling; his company King Poo was one of the first to sell worm farms in the early 1990s. But it is hemp that has him raving.

“As a grandfather several times over, I am championing this now as the answer to a lot of our sustainability problems. We just have to lose the baggage we have about hemp, and approach it in a more mature way.”

Source: farmonline.com.au





Cannabis Cultuurprijs (cannabis culture award)

13 11 2009

Cannabis Cultuurprijs 2009

The Cannabis Cultuurprijs 2009, now in its sixth year, is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions towards the acceptance of cannabis in all its forms and to the reintegration of marihuana and hemp culture into modern society.

At a time when ‘zero tolerance’ is replacing the ‘tolerance policy’ it is more important than ever to acknowledge those who have made a genuine difference to the perception and use of this unfairly maligned plant.

Though other prizes exist in the sphere of cannabis and hemp, only the Cannabis Cultuurprijs celebrates improvements to quality of life and knowledge in quite this way.

The prize itself promotes the achievements of the winner: a unique exhibit dedicated to each one is created for public viewing. Displays honoring previous winners Jack Herer and Ed Rosenthal are on show in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Last year’s winner, the late Simon Vinkenoog, is represented in the Hemp Gallery.

A monetary award of €3000 is also presented. It is independently funded and therefore free from political influence.

Update:

The Cannabis Culture Award was previously known as the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs and was initiated in 2004 by philanthropist Ben Dronkers in order to honor and reward people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of hemp and cannabis.

For more information about this year’s ceremony, please visit http://hashmuseum.com/cannabis-culture-awards .








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