|Hemp-Product Seller Goes To Bat Against DEA Rules|
Posted by FoM on December 04, 2001 at 12:34:28 PT|
By David Griffith, Intelligencer Journal Staff
Source: Intelligencer Journal
A Lancaster County businessman who sells hemp pretzels will hand out samples to Drug Enforcement Agency workers as they break for lunch today at their federal office building in Philadelphia.
Shawn Patrick House, who operates Lancaster Trading House, said Monday he will also hold a press conference at the downtown Philadelphia site to protest action by the DEA that has effectively outlawed hemp food products. The hemp products sometimes contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
His protest is part of a nationwide effort organized by the Hemp Industries Association in more than 80 cities.
"This is an agricultural issue. This is not a drug issue," House said. "They want to further define THC in natural products. They don't recognize what the Canadian government has set as a standard, which is 10 parts per million, and that's like an olive in a boxcar."
The DEA's ruling, or clarification of existing law, took effect on Oct. 6, and companies dealing in suddenly illegal products have 120 days to either dispose of them or export them.
"However, during this grace period, no person may manufacture or distribute any such product for human consumption within the United States," according to the DEA's order.
Products banned if they contain THC include beer, cheese, snack bars, salad oil, veggie burgers, coffee and products made with flour. Hemp products not deemed illegal by the DEA include clothing, cosmetics, lotions, paper, rope, shampoo and soap.
House runs Lancaster Trading, a broker and distributor of hemp products, in addition to Lancaster Hemp Co., which aims to educate the public on hemp, and Hempzel Pretzels.
"We're trying to show the public, the media, even the people in the DEA the ridiculousness of what they're trying to do," House said.
The THC level in hemp, which supporters call a close cousin to marijuana, registers between zero and 10 parts per million, much lower than the amount found in marijuana, House said.
The DEA, however, sees no distinction between hemp and marijuana.
"Many Americans do not know that hemp and marijuana are both parts of the same plant and that hemp cannot be produced without producing marijuana," DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson stated in the agency's Oct. 6 ruling.
The DEA says hemp is not a term found in federal law, and that although hemp consists of the stalk portion of a marijuana plant, or sterilized seeds, it is illegal if used in a product to be ingested.
Marijuana is considered to be the upper portions of the plant, including buds and leaves.
"It is an illegal substance that may not be manufactured, sold or consumed in the United States," the DEA order states. "Such products include "hemp' foods and beverages that contain THC."
A reporter's inquiries Monday to the DEA office in Philadelphia were referred to agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., where a spokeswoman said the DEA's position was made clear on its Web site.
Sales of hemp products in the United States total more than $100 million a year, House said, but the plant cannot be grown here. It is legal to grow hemp in Canada and 30 other countries, however.
House said hemp pretzels contain so little THC that consumers can eat them and then be drug tested without worry.
"It wouldn't come up on a drug test, because it's a very, very insignificant amount," he said, adding that the hemp industry has enormous potential. "The hemp industry is where the soy industry was 30 years ago. It can be a billion-dollar crop."
House has been active in efforts to encourage local farmers to persuade lawmakers of the value of hemp. It was once a staple in Lancaster County agriculture, thus the name "Hempfield" for the area between Lancaster and the Susquehanna River.
It is billed as the world's strongest natural fiber and was once widely used to make rope and canvas, along with hundreds of other products.
House said his company's crunchy pretzels use the "meat of the seed" and flour, while soft pretzels contain those items, plus hemp oil. He also brokers lip balms and soaps, in addition to snack bars and pretzels, which are sold at health food stores.
"What's going to kill me is getting investment capital," he said of the DEA's order. "We're building the infrastructure and that's where it's hurting. I've been doing this for years on a shoestring budget."
House said the DEA is "perpetuating ignorance. They're perpetuating misinformation."
Several states have attempted to distinguish between hemp and marijuana, creating even more confusion in recent years. Like others, House wonders what steps the DEA will take to enforce its clarification, as he continues to sell his hemp products.
"This is the future," he said of hemp in general. "There's a fiber shortage, and hemp is an excellent source of fiber. We just really need to make the consumer aware."
Note: Hemp: Rules clarification lowers the boom.
Source: Intelligencer Journal (PA)
Related Articles & Web Sites:
FTE's Hemp Links
CannabisNews Hemp Archives
DEA Rule Threatens To Shut Down Hemp Industry
DEA Rule Bans Hemp Food Products
Comment #7 posted by Shawn House on December 06, 2001 at 11:21:16 PT:|
|December 5, 2001|
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal 8 W. King St. Lancaster, Pa 17608 Att: David Griffith Letter to the Editor
Dear David & LTE,
We had a good turnout for the action in front of the William J. Greene Federal building in downtown Philadelphia. Many folks from that building were able to sample, sign petitions and get literature on hemp foods along with sampling the crunchy and soft “Hempzels” made with nutritious hemp seed, flour & oil. Television stations, FOX & ABC interviewed me.
Coming home I picked up a newspaper but was slightly disappointed by the article in the Business Section. I think I gave too much information for this story and got off base from the main points. Attached to this faxed letter are letters from both of my raw materials suppliers & processors stating that there is 0% THC in the industrial hemp being grown in Canada and used in Hempzels. Using hemp seed gives this new pretzel a nutty flavor, rich in protein, and a good source of Omega Oils, specifically 3 & 6.
It disturbs me that the media continues to use the word “marijuana” in comparison to industrial hemp. Throughout my interview I continued to use the proper word – “cannabis”. If we continue to use the confusing word “marijuana” we do nothing but confuse the consumer. The use of the word denotes racism and ignorance; this is how the 1937 Marijuana tax act was pushed through Congress without the proper scientific or objective studies from the AMA and Hemp Industry from that era or general public.
The cannabis plant, when using industrial hemp seeds, can be grown in the U.S. with the proper permits. But since there is still a lot of confusion in the bureaucracy and wording/enforcement of laws, no farmer wants the hassle. Industrial hemp is without issue, grown in 31 industrial countries. Those countries have good law enforcement and enlightened legislators. It is grown in Hawaii and don’t forget the U.S. Government grows medicinal cannabis AKA slang “marijuana” in Oxford, Mississippi and has for over 25 years for 8 cancer patients at a cost of $220,000 per year.
If you get a credit card with 0% APR, does that mean the company can charge you interest at 0.0000001%, it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law unless there is some fine print. I want to reassure the readers of your paper that hemp foods are an excellent source of nutrition in all forms and that they have until December 10th to express there concerns. The government has no credibility on this issue and to ban a grain product is ridiculous when we are searching on ways to save farmers and increase revenues to help the economy. I strongly urge folks to visit http://www.votehemp.org.
Remember that there are more opiates in poppy seed bagels and more alcohol in fruit juices than there is THC in an industrial hemp food product. Over the course of time the truth will come forward and the American citizen will soon forget the absurdity of what the Drug Enforcement Agency is trying to bring forward. I will continue to make great tasting Hempzels with or without the proclamation of this agency.
With liberty & law – Shawn Patrick House
Post Comment ]
|Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 04, 2001 at 19:59:45 PT|
|Thanks! You did good! I'd like to try some of the pretzels. I really need to learn more about Hemp. We would find out so much more about it's benefits if the DEA stops this nonsense.|
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #5 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2001 at 19:44:51 PT|
|just like a pretzel. Nothing suspect here.|
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #4 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2001 at 18:30:14 PT|
|These are the jalapeno flavor. They are not too strong of jalapeno and about just right. The package says wheat flour; hemp seed; organic brown rice and no preservatives.|
They taste good.
They were sent UPS yesterday for giving out during todays protest activities along with 2 boxes of Ruth's Hemp and Trail creative energy bars in 2 flavors ( www.ruthsfoods.ca ) from Toronto.On. I was able to give out app. 50-60 surveys copied off the votehemp.com site made available for this occassion. I stood in front of the local health food store (where I have been buying my hemp seed oil for salads) and gave my schpeil, along with displaying and talking about hemp seed oil and all its implications with GLA and then only 2.8% of our daily needs. With GLA known as a part of a strong immune system and in mothers milk and only about 3 other obscrue places on the planet... IT MAKES ME AWARE THAT IF YOU DID NOT NURSE WHEN YOU WERE A BABY, YOU MAY HAVE NEVER GIVEN YOUR SELF GLA IN YOUR DIET, IN YOUR LIFE.
On the way to the health food store, I stopped by the newspaper and talked about it. They may print a story about this nationwide protest and oppertunity to address the public comment period which ends on the 10th. They indicated they would print the address for sending comments to the DEA.
That address is: Deputy Assistant Administrator; Office of Diversion Control; Drug Enforcement Administration; Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/CCD; Washington, DC 20537; Fax 202-307-8570
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 04, 2001 at 17:42:04 PT|
|Let us know how the pretzels are. We just looked at the web site and they made us hungry. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is known for making the world's best pretzels. From the heart of the Pennsyvania Dutch Country comes Hemp Pretzels! Cool!
Hemp Pretzels -- http://www.hempzels.com/
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2001 at 17:05:59 PT|
|I am going to try a bag after din din. |
I am a Christian. I recognize the Bibles 1st page implications. It may be similarily healthy to realize that not all Christians are a problem. It may just be those that have fallen away from the faith. They also make life difficult for those Christians that have not fallen away. By the way, the description at 1 Timothy 4 1-5 is quite revealing to the hemp and cannabis issue. It is as follows:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to <*3> deceitful spirits and <*4> doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars <*5> seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who <*6> forbid marriage and advocate <*7> abstaining from foods which <*8> God has created to be <*9> gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For <*10> everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is <*11> received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on December 04, 2001 at 14:51:22 PT|
|Now the rule is to ban hemp edibles. Next thing you know they will rule you can't smoke it, either.
I'm happy that I don't live in the United States anymore. They've gone nuts there.|
I can hear all the religious bible thumpers reciting in unison:
I am Jesus' little lamb.
Jesus Christ, goddamn, I am.
[ Post Comment ]