Hemp for food, textiles & building

Rejuvenating a time proven industry …

Hemp has been around for thousands of years.  It has only been in the mid-1900s that it became demonised because of its botanical association with marijuana.  Hemp is non-drug cannabis.

The Industrial Hemp Association of Victoria (iHAV) is a non-profit organisation committed to representing producers, financiers, processors, importers, wholesalers, retailers and end users of industrial hemp. We are dedicated to education, industry development, and the accelerated expansion of the market for industrial hemp.

In 1998, Victoria was the first Australian State to pass legislation permitting growers, under licence, to grow industrial hemp. This is the form of Cannabis Sativa, L. which has none of the psychoactive properties of marijuana. In recent times, the closed mindset of our politicians has slowly begun to change.

Hemp food is sold for human consumption in every industrialised economy, with the exception of Australia. Hemp food is currently specifically prohibited in Australia.  In the United States, where hemp food is legal, it is all imported (mostly from Canada) because growing industrial hemp in the U.S. is currently illegal.  So in Australia, we can grow it, but we can’t sell it to eat.  In the U.S., they can eat hemp, but they can’t grow it!

Australia’s legislators are now reviewing the prohibition on food and we are hopeful that a decision to change the food laws will be made by the end of 2016 2016 – a long time coming, but worth the wait!

The ABC Landline program covered the hemp industry in Australia well.  Click on this link:  Landline segment

Read more …

Hemp around the World

The world-leading producer of hemp is China, with smaller production in Europe, Chile and North Korea. Over thirty countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

The United Kingdom, and Germany all resumed commercial production in the 1990s. British production is mostly used as bedding for horses; other uses are under development. Companies in Canada, the UK, the United States and Germany, among many others, process hemp seed into a growing range of food products and cosmetics; many traditional growing countries still continue to produce textile-grade fibre.

In the Australian states of Victoria, Queensland and, most recently, New South Wales, the state governments have issued licences to grow hemp for industrial use. The state of Victoria was an early adopter in 1998, and has reissued the regulation in 2008.

Queensland has allowed industrial production under licence since 2002, where the issuance is controlled under the Drugs Misuse Act 1986.  New South Wales issues licences under the Hemp Industry Regulations Act 2008 (No 58), that came into effect as of 6 November 2008.

Commercial production (including cultivation) of industrial hemp has been permitted in Canada since 1998 under licenses and authorization issued by Health Canada (9,725 ha in 2004, 5450 ha in 2009). It is expected that hemp will contribute $100 million to Canada’s economy.

France is Europe’s biggest producer with 8,000 hectares cultivated. 70-80% of the hemp fibre produced in Europe in 2003 was used for specialty pulp for cigarette papers and technical applications. About 15% is used in the automotive sector and 5-6% were used for insulation mats. Approximately 95% of hurds were used as animal bedding, while almost 5% were used in the building sector.   In 2010/2011, the total area cultivated with hemp in the EU was approximately 11 000 hectares.

United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, cultivation licences are issued by the Home Office under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. When grown for non-drug purposes, hemp is referred to as industrial hemp, and a common product is fibre for use in a wide variety of products, as well as the seed for nutritional aspects and for the oil.

United States
Vermont and North Dakota have passed laws enabling hemp licensure. Both states are waiting for permission to grow hemp from the DEA. Currently,[when?] North Dakota representatives are pursuing legal measures to force DEA approval.[93] Oregon has licensed industrial hemp as of August 2009.[94] Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law because of its relation to marijuana, and any imported hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level. It is considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (P.L. 91-513; 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Some states have made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal, but these states — North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, California, Montana, West Virginia and Vermont — have not yet begun to grow it because of resistance from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.  Feral hemp or ditch weed is usually a naturalized fibre or oilseed strain of Cannabis that has escaped from cultivation and is self-seeding.

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