Grower Fights For Hemp Industry

  Grower Fights For Hemp Industry

Posted by FoM on October 26, 1999 at 12:52:36 PT
By Roberta Rampton, Winnipeg bureau 
Source: Western Producer 

Jean Laprise makes a reluctant poster boy for loosening industrial hemp regulations in the United States. But for the past month, the no-nonsense Chatham, Ont., farmer and businessperson has found himself in the spotlight. 
"I am not an activist by any stretch of the imagination," said Laprise, president of Kenex Ltd., a leading Canadian hemp processor. But now, he is rolling up his sleeves to do political battle with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which seized a shipment of Kenex hemp birdseed at the border. The DEA has also demanded Kenex recall 17 other shipments of hemp products, or face $700,000 in fines and possible criminal charges. Laprise is fighting for the survival of his business, since the bulk of his products are sold in the U.S. "It's crippled our business," said Laprise, explaining skittish customers have canceled sales. But he said the outcome of his fight could have tremendous impact for other Canadian hemp farmers. "I guess from a grain and oilseed perspective, there certainly needs to be a little caution until this is resolved," he said. Unless the DEA closes the border to Canadian hemp products, Greg Herriot said he doesn't foresee problems for his company, Hempola, which exports oil and other products made from Manitoba-grown hemp seed. But Herriot said the border skirmish does present a hurdle for the young Canadian hemp industry. "How do we deal with that problem? I don't know." The attention could help increase consumer awareness and demand for hemp products, he said. "It's ludicrous what they (the DEA) are doing when you look at all the benefits behind it." Herriot said he thinks Kenex should not have attached lab results showing the shipment's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content as 14 parts per million. "They made a mistake." He described the THC content in the birdseed as a quality or cleanliness issue. Hempola oil contains less than four parts per million THC before it is blended with other ingredients. Laprise acknowledged he didn't have to include the THC test results with the shipment, but said his customer requested them. "We want to do business in a very honest manner." At 14 parts per million, or 0.0014 percent, the THC content is miniscule. Even seed with one percent THC has less psychoactive properties than low-grade marijuana, said Laprise. Canadian and European regulations allow hemp in the field to have a maximum of 3,000 parts per million THC. In food products, Health Canada allows no more than 10 parts per million THC. Pubdate: October 28, 1999Related Articles & Web Site:Kenex LTD. Grower's Seed Nabbed at U.S. Border

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Comment #1 posted by Chris Goowin on November 19, 2000 at 18:36:38 PT:

Saving The World

A $100,000* Challenge to the World to Prove Us Wrong:  If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect, and stop deforestation;  Then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial, and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time…  And that substance is—the same one that did it all before—Cannabis Hemp…Marijuana!Thank You
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