High Time to Grow Hemp in Kentucky?

High Time to Grow Hemp in Kentucky?
Posted by FoM on June 27, 1999 at 08:22:59 PT
By Jim Jordan Herald-Leader Business Writer
Source: Kentucky Connect
Kentucky bourbon must have made state farmers ``lethargic,'' Anita Roddick said yesterday.``Where are the thousands who should be here?'' the English businesswoman asked a crowd of about 100 at the fourth annual meeting of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association.
Roddick, founder of the Body Shop cosmetics company that markets hemp products, drew a standing ovation when she urged farmers to ``start bloody challenging your legislature'' to pass a law like those in Hawaii, Minnesota and North Dakota to legalize hemp production.Roddick and other speakers at the meeting, which appeared part education and part pep rally, said industrial hemp -- once Kentucky's No. 1 cash crop -- could be the answer for farmers needing an alternative to burley tobacco.The main problem is hemp's similarity to marijuana, although it lacks enough of the chemical known as THC to give smokers a high.Various parts of the hemp plant, which can grow 10 feet in height, can be ingredients in building materials, car parts, plastics, clothing, cosmetics and food items, such as the coffee served at yesterday's meeting.Roddick and others see hemp as a way to save the family farm and the rural way of life from the threat posed by the decline of tobacco as a cash crop.``What the hell is the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) doing denying farmers the right to grow a crop ordained by the Almighty,'' she said yesterday. ``There is so much stupidity I think the script was written by Monty Python.''Lexington Mayor Pam Miller said Kentuckians must overcome their fears of being considered ``drug-pushers'' and work for a state hemp law.``Kentucky ought to be in the forefront of this and not bringing up the rear,'' Miller said.Switching crops and developing new markets is risky, she said, but ``this is a risk that makes sense for Kentucky. This is the kind of thing we know how to do.''Jean Laprise, founder of Kenex, Canada's largest hemp company, also said that Kentucky, because of its history with hemp, should be a leader in a movement back to the crop. ``I can't believe you are not,'' he said.In Canada, Laprise said, the government has approved 15 varieties of hemp that farmers can plant using approved seed. Crops are tested annually at a cost to the farmer of about $100 to make sure THC levels remain low, he said.Although some special equipment is required, hemp can be produced with the same equipment and facilities used by tobacco growers.The crop is cut, dried for about three weeks and rolled into round bales, much like hay, that are trucked to processing plants.Most farmers contract with processors who have buyers and markets for processed hemp. Setting up a processing plant is relatively simple, Laprise said. Developing markets for the processed hemp could be much tougher.A farmer in the audience asked Laprise if there were problems with trespassers stealing leaves off hemp plants at Kenex farms.``It happens, but it's not that big of an issue,'' Laprise said. Thieves quickly learn that hemp is not marijuana, and they leave the hemp alone.
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 27, 1999 at 10:01:06 PT:
Hemp Facts and Hemp Fiction Hayo M.G. van der Werf
Here's some good information on Hemp!Thanks For Your Comment!International Hemp Association,Postbus 75007, 1070 AA Amsterdam,The NetherlandsJack Herer's book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, edited by Chris Conrad, Lynn Osburn and Judy Osburn, provides fascinating reading. It was one of the major causes of the enormous increase in interest in fibre hemp in recent years. Although most of the information contained in the book is valid, some of its claims are clearly incorrect.Click the link for more!
My Hemp Page
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Rich Lamkin on June 27, 1999 at 09:33:45 PT:
Our mother doesn't like us.
I hate being negative, at least I try to avoid it.. We forgot to mention the incredible richness, in which it leaves the ground below. Anything we can do to apologize to our mother earth, please do! It may be locally tough to fight for but, planting a seed, starting a ripple. It's what's best, although it seems as though most have lost their ambition. ba ba ba ba ba politics
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: