COTTON VS HEMP

Hemp has been making a lot of noise lately, especially with the growing awareness surrounding the use of hemp oil for treating cancer. Although the word ‘hemp’ still often gets confused and lumped into the same definition as Cannabis, a similar but psychoactive plant, it’s important to realize hemp can be a major game changer for our world if used to its potential. As we go through this post, you will be wondering ‘why don’t we use this stuff all the time.. for everything?!’ Simple answer, farming hemp was banned in the US and other countries in the 1937 because of the threat it caused to certain companies and their businesses. More about that here.

Although hemp has many practical uses, let’s focus on one that would affect us every day; clothing. For this, we will compare hemp to cotton, as cotton is a very popular resource used in clothing production. We’ll need to focus on various areas that have to be taken into consideration when comparing the two so we can determine not only what is better for us, but also what is best for our environment as it’s important to view things holistically. Let’s do it.

Water:

Cotton: To grow cotton you require about 1400 gallons of water for every pound you intend to produce. That’s a lot of water! Some areas of the world that produce cotton are running out of fresh water due to the production of cotton as well as clothing. Some areas of the world have even experienced desertification as a result of producing cotton.

Hemp: You require about half the amount of water to produce hemp as you would if producing cotton. Hemp is a strong and reliable plant that grows very quickly. Not only that, hemp produces about 200% – 250% more fibre in the same amount of land compared to cotton.

The victor: Hemp

Pesticides:

Cotton: One of the biggest downsides to cotton is how much pesticides are used to grow the plant. Although organic cotton farming is beginning to catch on a bit more, the production of cotton worldwide takes up about 25% of the world’s pesticide use. The other unfortunate factor is that these chemicals can end up being absorbed into our skin as we wear clothing.

Hemp: The beauty of hemp is that it requires no pesticides to grow. In fact, it doesn’t require any chemicals at all to grow. The growing nature of the plant competes with weeds and over-powers their ability to sustain themselves. This allows the hemp plant to grow freely and quickly.

The victor: Hemp

Comfort & Longevity:

Cotton: Generally very comfortable to begin with, as you continue to wear cotton it ‘breaks in’ to become even more comfortable. There is no denying how soft cotton can be, but it is also true that cotton fibres break down over time and the more it is washed the faster it breaks down.

Hemp: The hemp fibre used in clothing is a strong natural fibre that, like cotton, gets progressively softer with each passing day you wear it and each time you wash it. Although it may not start off quite as soft, it is still soft and certainly would not be considered uncomfortable. The plus is that the fibre is much stronger and durable. Repeated washed will not break the fibre down anywhere near as quickly as cotton. Creating more hemp clothing would mean we would need to produce much less clothing.

The victor: Hemp

Breathability & Wicking:

Cotton: Breathability is certainly a strong suit for cotton. It also does not hold odours for very much. This is quite possibly one of the biggest downsides to synthetic fibres, they don’t dispel odour well and don’t often deal with moisture well either. While cotton has a natural wicking system, it also holds moisture a little longer than what might be considered most desirable.

Hemp: Performs very well when it comes to breathability and wicks moisture away from the body effectively. Hemp also carries anti-bacterial properties that trump any other natural fibre. This means hemp will not mold or grow mildew very easily. Since it also does not hold odours, hemp clothing edges out cotton slightly on this one

The victor: Almost a tie, but hemp is our pal on this one again

Aesthetics:

Cotton: Without the use of dyes, cotton comes naturally in white, cream and off-white. Cotton can be dyed naturally or synthetically to achieve a desired color. The growing knowledge that cotton is very taxing on the environment and not healthy for our skin is creating quite the demand for organic cotton. In terms of the fashion market, organic cotton is showing up more and more.

Hemp: Given the various processes available to remove fibres from the stem of a hemp plant, hemp can be naturally creamy white, black, green, grey or brown. Without even requiring the use of dye, hemp comes in a variety of colors. Of course, you are still able to dye hemp both naturally and synthetically. Hemp is quickly becoming more and more popular in the fashion market as designers see the potential in the material while being a very environmentally sound option. Since it is durable and lasts a long time, it can be attractive to certain designers.

The victor: Hemp

Final Decision

Winner by knockout and growing undisputed champion of natural harmony, HEMP! This isn’t to say that cotton, especially grown organically, is not a good material, it simply isn’t better all around than hemp. In some cases, cotton could be a must use if something specific is being produced. The biggest differences are in the facts that hemp requires much less water and no pesticides to produce. Not only that, it boasts a lot more fibre per acre. Concerned about excess CO2 in the atmosphere? Hemp is spectacular at sequestering CO2! Take the time to check out some hemp clothing around the internet or see if there are some local stores who sell it. Although options can sometimes be limited right now, look out for more hemp clothing as awareness continues to spread!

Source : Collective Evolution

Hemp Meet Bamboo

We are being weaned off energy to provide higher profit margins for depleting resources!

We must support the climate agreement to provide the missing link. After four years in preparation, we are debuting “Plan B” to the climate change problem. We all will not build wind turbines or solar panels. However, we all buy plastic products, hygiene products and toilet paper. We need another option to make an impact. Here is ours. We propose expanding the renewable energy discussion to the 84,000 toxic chemicals in products we buy every day made from fossil fuels. Where our protest is conveyed through purchase, leading to US factories producing hemp and bamboo products to service companies like Ford, Kimberly-Clark, Ikea, and while also supplying small and medium size businesses lower cost materials.

It’s simple.

No Profit, No Pipelines, No Pollution.

Here is how we fight. Not through Protest, but through Purchase!! If we pressure US companies to build products with hemp and bamboo we can create local supply chains, jobs and lower cost materials. It is cheaper to grow than drill. That is where I need your help to build OUR economy. Crowdfunded farms, factories processing hemp and bamboo. It is possible. There is a perfect Storm for Change and YOU can start it. Let’s hit them where it hurts!

Our primary focus is to return jobs to the United States. A bioeconomy is more than about renewable energy. It is also about the materials we use in the development and manufacture of consumer goods.

Factories close to fields of bamboo and hemp is our goal. It’s not rocket science. It’s prudent business practices. We start with the easiest products to manufacture from bamboo & industrial hemp:

Food Biochar Pulp filler Fibers

As manufacturers realize a reliable domestic and international supply chain, businesses gain the incentive to return manufacturing activities to the United States.
you invest in her?
Maybe. What if she told you she is also selling her fiber to Georgia Pacific for toilet paper and paper towels? Your money is more secure. If her clothing suddenly failed overnight, you’re still safe. She still has revenue from the Hemp and bamboo growing. With the over 50,000 uses Hemp and Bamboo provides, she also has another shot at success.
Now, what if your city government wants to lease the abandoned land or an ugly factory you drive by every day? The Government sees jobs from your neighbor with the same failsafe in place. A big corporation buying the plants.

It starts here.

Pressure big business and tell them you will buy bamboo and hemp products. Offer them the security of a market and save the companies millions spent every year to reach you. Tell them. They will listen. It’s only to their benefit. They have great public relations and if we can’t grow, they can say “we tried.” Right now all companies like Ikea are claiming is “we can’t find it.” Show them where to look.

Political action will facilitate government economic development packages for businesses. Manufacturing in the United States will be feasible at labor rates that will create a vibrant economy again.

Manufacturing locally can also protect manufacturers’ intellectual property and alleviate additional costs of overseas supply chains such as:
Copies or ‘fakes’ in the marketplace.
Higher quality control resulting in lower litigation rates.
Negative Public Image.

They want to do this and they will. Why? They lied about the greenness of products in 2007 and 2008 with the Greenwash scandals all to get your dollars. They don’t have to lie anymore.

appreciate if you could share our Go Fund Me page and Petition. If you are unable to donate please share our petition and this project! We cannot “market” this it has to be organic or our voices will be lost on the companies we are pressuring to order bamboo and hemp fibers. We need your help. By purchasing the game, you are also supplying 200 games to Nonprofits and NGOS that are building young minds to provide themselves and their families a future.

Proceeds additionally pay for the travel and endless meetings it will take to give your friends the “guarantee” they need. They will support your project when you start growing hemp and bamboo They know the hemp and bamboo will have somewhere to be sold and they can invest in your farm or factory via the JOBSACT!

Here is our SOLUTION!

We were also featured in Treehugger and will be doing additional interviews this week.

Let’s work together for TANGIBLE solutions not Laws or promises to change without penalties! Let’s work together to create a bioeconomy that creates more opportunities for all of us, new commodity markets and material options for young entrepreneurs. With the recent push for renewable energy, we must deny the profits from the fossil fuels that go into the construction of turbines and solar panels

GoFundMe Campaign
gofundme.com/bioeconomy
Petition:
causes.com/campaigns/97871-tell-u-s-companies-we-will-buy-change-to-end-fossil-fuels

If you wish to donate directly to the Foundation please click this link. foundationforabioeconomy.org/#!donate/cirf

We can DO THIS! We can put the Power of Protest through purchase in YOUR HANDS! Help us tell US Companies we will buy Hemp and bamboo in paper pulp, biomass, auto interior parts, and BIOPLASTICS! Provide us a voice, we will provide methods everyone can duplicate.

Amanda Clayton-Stevens

Philippines: Should your right to be healed be based on the location you live in?

The Philippines, a country where Medical Cannabis is strictly prohibited and where the punishment for Cannabis is more severe than being caught with hard drugs such as crystal meth, heroin, cocaine and the likes.

Several groups in the Philippines such as Porml, 420 Philippines, Internation Women’s Cannabis Coalition – Philippines (IWCC) just to name a few, are pushing for legalization of Medical cannabis to be granted to legitimate patients who suffer from debilitating disease such as epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, tumors, etc. The most active group is the Philippines Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS) who leads the movement and is active in lobbying to pass the bill in Congress. PCCS work side by side with the author of the bill, Congressman Rodolfo Albano. PCCS also shares the stories of their patients to open the minds and hearts of the Congressmen to co-author the bill. The bill has 104 co-authors as of this writing and the bill needs to have at least 200 signatures to be endorsed by the Senate.

Some of the patients who have the financial capability to migrate to other countries or import Medical Cannabis from other countries where it is legal have significantly improved their health and some have been cured totally. However, the patients who are less fortunate are left to suffer and eventually die due to the fact that they cannot afford the cost of importation and/or migration to another country.

This migration not only happens in the Philippines, same scenarios happen in the United States of America (USA), as families move to a different state where Medical Cannabis is legal and to be able to use it to their patients, however, they are not allowed to bring it to a different state, forcing families to leave their family, friends and work behind.

As per the data released by Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society in 2016, Philippines topped 197 countries with the most number of cases of breast cancer. It is also one of the countries worldwide with the highest prevalence rates of cancer.

183,000 people are affected by Epilepsy in the Philippines based on the data of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 and the numbers just continue to keep on rising.

These data only proves that not only a few will benefit from Medical Cannabis but millions of Filipinos. It can improve the lives of millions suffering every single day and it can provide them a livable life. Once the bill has been enacted into a law everyone who is qualified to avail Medical Cannabis can do so with the guidance of the Department of Health (DOH), Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Dangerous Drug Board (DDB).

 

Write : By Anne Kristina Aguila

Cannabis Production in the European Union – Spectrum Denmark Granted Production Licence

ODENSE, Denmark, and SMITHS FALLS, ON, Dec. 18, 2017 /CNW/ – Further to a December 5th press release announcing plans to establish a 40,000 m2 facility in the Danish city of Odense, Spectrum Cannabis Denmark has been issued a cannabis production licence by Laegemiddelstyrelsen, Denmark’sMedicines Agency. Danish Health Minister, Ellen Trane Nørbye, announced the news today at a press conference. Spectrum Cannabis Denmark is a partnership between Danish Cannabis, one of Europe’s largest hemp producers, and Canopy Growth Corporation (“Canopy Growth” or the “Company”) (TSX: WEED).

To the Company’s knowledge, this is the first federal production licence issued to a Canadian cannabis producer anywhere in the European Union, a major milestone in an emerging market. With the announcement, Denmark has joined the Netherlands as the only two European countries with federally permitted medical cannabis production.

Speaking to local media, Minister Nørbye commented, “Medical cannabis has enormous potential and my role as Minister of Health is to help secure that the new medical cannabis law becomes a success for patients and for Denmark.”

Cannabis produced at the Odense facility is forecasted to exceed the needs of the Danish market and will be exported to other federally legal jurisdictions in the European Union.

“Entering Denmark was a strategic choice for us because we sensed the country would move fast to establish federal production capabilities. Using our expertise and in collaboration with excellent local partners, Canopy is now set to become the first ACMPR participant to also produce cannabis products in the European Union,” said Bruce Linton, Chairman and CEO, Canopy Growth. “In 2014 we began with a small Canadian patient group and grew it rapidly by offering high-quality products and actively engaging with the medical community. We intend to repeat this model of success on the other side of the Atlantic and solidify our position as the global leaders in the cannabis industry.”

Canopy Growth has stabilized an industry-leading selection of cannabis genetics in its Canadian facilities and will ship a variety of Spectrum Cannabis clones to Odense to begin growth cycles as soon as spring 2018 when the greenhouse retrofit is targeted to be complete.

The licence is being issued without conditions, meaning that Spectrum Cannabis Denmark will not be limited to a production cap or limited to the product formats it can produce. High quality oils and dried cannabis flowers will be produced in Odense and sold under the Spectrum Cannabis brand using the proprietary Spectrum colour-coded strain classification system.

As in Canada, Canopy Growth will use its experience to engage the physician community in Denmark to ensure that physicians are able to access fact-based information pertaining to dosing, and prescribing to appropriate patients.

The licence announced today is valid through 2021.

Here’s to Future Growth.

About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth is a world-leading diversified cannabis and hemp company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms. From product and process innovation to market execution, Canopy Growth is driven by a passion for leadership and a commitment to building a world-class cannabis company one product, site and country at a time.

Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names including cannabis icon Snoop Dogg, breeding legends DNA Genetics and Green House seeds, and Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands, to name but a few. Canopy Growth operates seven cannabis production sites with over 665,000 square feet of production capacity, including over 500,000 square feet of GMP-certified production space. The Company has operations in seven countries across four continents. The Company is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public’s understanding of cannabis, and through its partly owned subsidiary, Canopy Health Innovations, has devoted millions of dollars toward cutting edge, commercializable research and IP development. Through partly owned subsidiary Canopy Rivers Corporation, the Company is providing resources and investment to new market entrants and building a portfolio of stable investments in the sector. From our historic public listing to our continued international expansion, pride in advancing shareholder value through leadership is engrained in all we do at Canopy Growth. For more information visit www.canopygrowth.com

Notice Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Canopy Growth Corporation, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include future operational and production capacity, the impact of enhanced infrastructure and production capabilities, and forecasted available product selection. The forward-looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and Canopy Growth Corporation does not undertake an obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities legislation.

Neither the TSX Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE : Canopy Growth Corporation

India: Reviving Old Hemp History by Making Way for New Hemp Industry

India, a place where anyone who cultivates Cannabis invites a prison term of up to 10 years. For over half a century now, Indian hemp or cannabis has been outlawed in India because of the intoxication substances contained in the plant’s flowers and resin. Some of the world’s most fables hashish and ganja were said to be found in India.

In an article published by Scroll, it seems that India may soon turn over a new leaf and allow farmers to grow hemp. It aims to encourage the use of hemp to produce paper, rope, clothing – and even be eaten as a crunchy snack.

“For the last 50 years, the government has looked at cannabis cultivation only from the narcotic angle due to the rising pressure on global war on drugs,” said Avnish Pandya, the head of research and development of hemp at Bombay Hemp Company, which has been lobbying for industrial cultivation of hemp in India. But, says Pandya, “there is another side to cannabis which is harmless and of high economic value, lying untapped. Why not legalise that?”

International hemp production is at an estimated $1.5 trillion per year and is currently dominated by China, France and Germany. Allowing Indian farmers to cultivate hemp could create an industrial hemp textile market in India that could be valued at an estimated Rs 240 million (about $ 3.7 million), according to the central government’s Ministry of Textiles.

Hemp fibre, along with banana fibre, pineapple fibre, flax, sisal, and nettle was identified by the textile ministry’s 2010 Natural Fiber Policy and it recommended special policies to encourage development of these natural fibres. Due to its tradition of growing hemp, Uttarakhand, has been declared a nodal state for nettle and hemp promotion by the ministry.

Though there is a growing advocacy all over the world to decriminalise cannabis for recreational and medical use, BOHECO (Bombay Hemp Company) made it clear that its efforts are focused solely on cannabis sativa. This strain of Hemp is mostly used for industrial purposes as this cannot be misused as a narcotic due to the small portion of the substances that causes intoxication.

In 1985, under the pressure from the US (Single convention on narcotic drugs), a new bill has been passed, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and signed by the then President Giani Zail Singh on 16 September 1985, and came into force on 14 November 1985, India banned the consumption, production and cultivation of Cannabis though it does permit the cultivation of hemp for horticulture and industrial purposes. However, no licences have been issued to farmers since the act was passed. Adding to the confusion, each of the states in India prohibits cannabis cultivation under their Excise Acts.

Currently, India is the world’s largest producer of legal opium for medical and scientific purposes, however, it has had no legal hemp cultivation. Despite this, significant numbers of villagers in Uttarakhand, Kashmir and Kerala Travancore grow hemp to obtain fibre from the stems and oil from the seeds. Some even roast the seeds to eat as food or use them as religious offerings. But their crops are frequently destroyed by the police, who confuse this strain of hemp with the narcotic variety.

Since 2013, BOHECO, which works out of Mumbai, has been lobbying the textile ministry to create a regulatory framework for industrial hemp cultivation and draft an industrial hemp policy. It is also aiming to develop a germ hemp seed suitable for Indian climatic and soil conditions. The firm is working in collaboration with the GB Pant Agriculture and Technology University in Uttarakhand to synthesise seeds that have less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. They hope to have the first batches of seed ready early in 2016.

Hemp plant grows between 6 feet-16 feet in a period of four months. The plant does not require chemical fertilisers and captures large quantities of carbon, yield eight-ten tonnes for fibre and up to two tonnes of seed per acre.

Chirag Tekchandaney, director of sales and marketing at BOHECO said “There are over 25,000 end products of hemp. Internationally its fame is rising as an organic and eco-friendly plant, with hemp shirts and clothing being very popular. We are already flooded with queries and orders about hemp textile.” The firm is already selling hemp seeds sourced from Australia, hempcrete (hemp fiber blended with lime to make strong and lightweight concrete used in construction) and hemp fibre sourced from the farmers of Uttarakhand through its online portal.

The firm has been generating enthusiasm for hemp fabric by giving presentations at the Lakme Fashion Week in March and the INK/TED conference in February. “Hemp is a super crop and versatile,” said Yash Kotak, BOHECO’s marketing officer. “It’s a shame we banned its use due to ignorance and confusion with marijuana. We want to make hemp farming a sexy option for the younger generation while also uplifting local farmers and industry to produce cool hemp products.’’

Write : By Anne Aguila

While Cannabis remains as a Schedule I Drug, Syndros, a form of synthetic THC received a Schedule II

While Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I Drug. Syndros (generic name: c-x dronabinol oral solution, a synthetic THC oral solution) manufactured by Insys Therapeutics, a Chandler, Arizona based pharmaceutical firm, receive the approval of Food and Drug Administration to be classified as Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, which would allow doctors to prescribe it.

Schedule II is the second-most restrictive drug classification category which is described as substances with a “high potential for abuse” but having some form of currently accepted medical use which includes Vicodin, cocaine, oxycodone, Adderall and Ritalin.

In 1985, FDA approved and regulated Marinol as a less-restrictive Schedule III substance. Marinol (dronabinol) is a man-made form of cannabis (also known as marijuana). Marinol is used to treat loss of appetite that causes weight loss in people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Marinol is also used to treat severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is usually given after medicines to control nausea and vomiting have been tried without success.

According to GlobeNewswire, Syndros is a liquid formulation of the pharmaceutical cannabinoid dronabinol. Syndros is a new drug product indicated for use in chemotherapy patients to help alleviate their nausea and vomiting and AIDS patients with anorexia-associated weight loss, respectively,”

Saeed Motahari, President and Chief Executive Officer of INSYS, made a statement that “The launch of Syndros represents a pivotal milestone for us,”

“Syndros is the second product entirely developed and commercialized by INSYS. We are excited to make Syndros available to those patients in need and look forward to bringing additional novel therapeutic solutions to even more patients in the near future.”

Stephen Sherman, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs of INSYS said, “Syndros is the first and only FDA-approved liquid dronabinol. It represents a viable alternative for the delivery of dronabinol and will fulfill a significant unmet need for both cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who fail traditional antiemetics and AIDS patients who experience weight loss,”

According to The Cannabist, Health and Human Services officials said that liquid dronabinol has a higher potential for abuse than Marinol because the liquid formulation could be manipulated to produce extracts for vaping or edibles, according to the notice in the Federal Register.

Vetticaden told the Cannabist last year that chemically synthesized drugs are highly reliable and thus could meet the rigorous testing demands and standards from the FDA. A synthetic approach could mitigate any potency issues that patients could encounter when buying products from dispensaries.

Insys, has expressed concerns about “natural cannabis” in regulatory filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the legalization of marijuana:

“Moreover, our cannabinoid products may compete with non-synthetic cannabinoid drugs, including therapies such as GW Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex and Epidiolex, especially in many countries outside of the United States where non-synthetic cannabinoids are legal. In addition, literature has been published arguing the benefits of natural cannabis, or marijuana, over dronabinol, and there are a number of states that have already enacted laws legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana. There is some support in the United States for further legalization of marijuana. We also cannot assess the extent to which patients utilize marijuana illegally to alleviate (Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting), instead of using prescribed therapies such as approved dronabinol products.”

Last fall, Insys contributed $500,000 to the campaign against marijuana legalization in Arizona. The $500,000 donation from Insys Therapeutics, amounts to more than one-third of all money raised by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the group opposing legalization. According to campaign finance records maintained by ballotpedia.com, Insys is one of the largest single contributions to any anti-legalization campaign ever.

Insys is facing multiple complaints, investigations and lawsuits related to its Subsys fentanyl spray (under-the-tongue spray intended for cancer patients that contains fentanyl, a highly addictive and regulated synthetic opioid). It has been reported that Insys was accused of off-label marketing of the opioid painkiller and has faced allegations of providing kickbacks to doctors to prescribe it.

In a report by Reuters, Insys has been accused of paying doctors sham speaker fees in exchange for writing prescriptions of Subsys and of misleading insurers into believing patients who were prescribed the opioid had cancer when they actually did not.

Brnovich also sued three Arizona doctors, Steve Fanto, Nikesh Seth and Sheldon Gingerich, whom the lawsuit said Insys paid on average $200,000 while they wrote prescriptions that generated over $33 million in sales of Subsys from March 2012 to April 2017.

Brnovich said in a statement that, “We need to put a stop to the unethical and greedy behavior in the pharmaceutical industry that is fueling the opioid crisis in our state,”.

Insys is in talks with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve the federal probe. Investigations are held by attorneys general in Oregon, New Hampshire and Illinois, Insys previously agreed to pay a combined $8.95 million to resolve any investigations.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction, restitution for customers and the disgorgement of any illegally gained profits.

 

Write By Anne Kristina Aguila

Israel: The Epicenter Of Medical Cannabis

Raphael Mechoulam | Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) | ResearchGateIsreal: The Grandfather of Medical Marijuana: Raphael Mechoulam, a professor, and researcher at Hebrew University, the man behind the discovery of tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC; the psychoactive compound in Cannabis. It all started in 1963 when Mechoulam secured 11 pounds of Lebanese hashish, which he used to identify, isolate and synthesize THC and study its medical use. He was also the first to decode the structure of CBD, the plant’s primary non-psychoactive ingredient. In 1992, Mechoulam and his team at Hebrew University in Jerusalem made a groundbreaking discovery on the physical reason why humans get high when using Cannabis, now known as the endocannabinoid system, and that the human brain produces its own cannabinoids – compounds that stimulate the body almost exactly the way THC does. “It turned out that the cannabinoids in the plant actually mimic the compounds that we form in our brain,” says Mechoulam.

Over the past 50 years, Israel conducts the world’s largest number of clinical trials testing the benefits of medicinal cannabis and has become a global destination for medical cannabis research and development. Israel was among the first countries to legalize the medicinal use and is one of just three countries with a government-supported medical cannabis program. On the other hand, recreational use remains illegal, however, the Israeli government has approved the export of medicinal cannabis products making it an offshore greenhouse for American cannabis companies seeking to overcome the federal roadblocks standing in their way.

While importing cannabis into the United States remains illegal under federal law, companies can still import from Israel by acquiring drug approval from the FDA by meeting the agency’s requirement for drug approval. The FDA has approved 3 drugs containing synthetic cannabinoids but it has never approved a product derived from botanical cannabis. According to the agency’s guidelines, “Study of marijuana in clinical trial settings is needed to assess the safety and effectiveness of marijuana for medical use.” Since initiating a clinical trial in the US is difficult, US companies resulted in partnering up with Israel’s pharmaceutical company to use their medical research facilities in Israel and conducting clinical trials there and applying for FDA approval of the botanical cannabis drug they are developing.

With one million square feet of cultivation fields, a 35,000-square-foot production plant, and 30,000 square feet of grow rooms and labs, Dr. Tamir Gedo’s company, Breath of Life Pharma (BOL), is about to open the world’s largest medical marijuana production, research, and development facility. According to Gedo’s estimates, BOL will produce 80 tons – more than 175,000 pounds – of cannabis per year.

Israel’s research on Cannabis has a great impact on the US cannabis industry, medical marijuana is now legal in 29 U.S. states and this is a direct result of Israeli research which made the study and research on Cannabis legitimate. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) said. Without this research, “We wouldn’t have the scientific interest we have now around the world,”. He also added, “That really opened the door to making the study of cannabis and cannabinoids a legitimate avenue for more conventional scientists and researchers.”

Even if U.S. companies want to do a clinical trial on U.S. soil it is nearly impossible and time-consuming. In Israel, a cannabis clinical trial can get off the ground in a matter of months. “There’s a lengthy and arduous regulatory process for getting approval for doing studies, and limited resources at these agencies for processing those requests,” says Pollack, of Thomas Jefferson University. “It’s deliberately made very difficult for us.”

“I think they have approached the issue in a more even-handed and genuine way than the U.S. government has,” says Armentano of NORML. “There are onerous restrictions on conducting this research in the U.S. that don’t exist in Israel.”

“There’s a lengthy and arduous regulatory process for getting approval for doing studies, and limited resources at these agencies for processing those requests,” says Pollack, of Thomas Jefferson University. “It’s deliberately made very difficult for us.” In Israel, on the other hand, a cannabis clinical trial can get off the ground in a matter of months.

“I think they have approached the issue in a more even-handed and genuine way than the U.S. government has,” says Armentano of NORML. “There are onerous restrictions on conducting this research in the U.S. that don’t exist in Israel.”

Dr. Gedo is optimistic but, on the other hand, he is also realistic. He knows that the FDA will never get behind cannabis the plant as medicine, since it can’t be controlled as a consistent drug given that there are 140 active compounds in cannabis, and the composition of the flowers plucked from one branch can fluctuate wildly, by up to 300 percent and can’t have the same effect day in and day out.

“The experience of a user will vary a lot with the same strain,” says Gedo. “So even if you have the best-grown product, it will never become a scientific pharmaceutical product.”

Source :  By Anne Kristina Aguila

China: A New Frontier For The Green Rush

Hemp brings in more than 10,000 Yuan (US$ 1,500) per hectare compared to just a few thousand yuan for more common crops like corn that is why Jiang Xingquan, a farmer in Northern China, sets aside part of his farm in northern China to grow cannabis every year in April. The size of the plot varies with market demand but over the last few years, it has been about 600 hectares. Since Heilongjiang province is near the Russian border, Jiang is growing the plant legally like every other hemp farmer in Hexin.

The growers sell every part of the plant and nothing goes to waste as the stems of the crop is being sold to textile factories to make high-quality fabric, the leaves to pharmaceutical companies for drugs, and the seeds to food companies to make snacks, kitchen oil, and drinks.

Jiang’s farm is located in China’s frosty north and is one of the country’s major centers for the legal crop. It has been revealed in an article published by South China Morning Post that authorities in the province turned a blind eye to its production before legalizing and regulating it last year. Another major growing area is in Yunnan province where the plant’s production has been regulated since 2003. Jiang said he and his family had tasted the vegetable oil made from hemp seeds. “It has a very strong fragrance and tastes good, but we felt dizzy after dinner,” he said. “We dare not try it very often,” he added.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, these areas account for about half of the world’s legal commercial cropland under hemp cannabis cultivation. Thanks to government support and a long tradition, China has quietly become a superpower in the plant’s production and research.

Plantations are flourishing both for commercial and illicit drug use since there are no official figures for the amount of the plant China produces each year. Government-funded scientists who study the plant’s military uses, including as medication and fabric for uniforms has been an integral part of this growth.

“Over the decades, researchers developed various hybrid species that not just survived but thrived in China’s disparate environments, from the Arctic conditions in Heilongjiang to Inner Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to the subtropics of Yunnan.”

In 2014, the Ministry of Public Security said it found a large number of unregistered hemp and marijuana plantations across the nation, particularly in Jilin and Inner Mongolia.

Hemp cannabis is one variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, which also includes types better known as marijuana. Hemp only has traces of THC, the psychoactive compound in Cannabis. Both the hemp and marijuana strains of the plant contain cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive compound that has been used to treat a wide range of conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

For centuries, Cannabis Sativa has been cultivated in China, mainly for the plant’s strong fibers which can be turned into rope, fabric, and paper. Other parts of the plant, such as seeds and leaves, have been used in Chinese traditional medicine – but with warnings of side effects. Hemp fabric has dated back more than 3,400 years and has been found in Shang Dynasty tombs in Hebei, and the fiber is believed to have been the basis of the earliest forms of paper made in the country.

The Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text compiled in the first or second century AD, warns: “A person will see a ghost after an overdose, [and] run around like mad … After moderate long-term intake, [he or she] will be able to communicate to God.”

In 1949, the People’s Republic of China has been established and led by a Communist government, the government has classified the plant as an illicit drug and introduced some of the world’s toughest rules against its production, trade, and consumption. Under Chinese criminal law, anybody with more than 5 kg of processed marijuana leaves, 10 kg of resin, or 150 kg of fresh leaves can face the death penalty.

“Despite the tough laws, authorities have usually turned a blind eye to farmers growing their own low-THC varieties because they were an important source of income for some farmers. Farmers have largely been spared in drug crackdowns but in some areas such as Xinjiang bans on the crop – even the low-THC types – have been strictly enforced, due to concerns about drug abuse in the region.”

In the late 1970’s when China went war with Vietnam, the research of the plant really took off according to some scientists as the military needed to develop a fabric that could keep soldiers clean and dry in Vietnam’s humidity, and cannabis hemp offered the fiber that breathed and was antibacterial. Other studies explored the plant’s use as a drug in field hospitals.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, more than half of the world’s patents related to the plant are now held in China. The Western pharmaceutical industry has prompted concerns that the Chinese government or Chinese firms might take advantage of the patent barriers.

“We have seen the growing enthusiasm of farmers, and they are indeed planting low-THC varieties. But cannabis is cannabis. However low the THC concentration, massive plantations can increase the risk of drug abuse and lead to many social problems,” said Yun Chunming, a professor in the Institute of Bast Fibre Crops at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Hunan.

On the other, Tan Xin, the president of Beijing-based Hemp Investment Group, one of the largest Chinese companies advocating the commercial pharmaceutical use of the plant, said the company had partnered with the People’s Liberation Army to take the Chinese technology and product to the world.

A drug to treat traumatic stress disorder jointly developed by the company and the Chinese military was nearing completion of clinical trials, and it was just one of the many products from the plant with global market potential, according to a statement on the company’s website.

With offices in the United States and plans to branch out into Canada, Israel, Japan and Europe, Tang said the company was taking the plant to all member countries in China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, an infrastructure scheme to link China with the rest of Asia and beyond.

“We expect the sector will grow into a 100 billion yuan industry for China in five years’ time,” he said.

Source : Cannabis Connects Global

Write by Anne Kristine Aguila

Hemp Can Save the World

Hemp is one of the world’s oldest crops. It also happens to be one of the most versatile. From plastics to paper, the hemp plant provides the means for humanity to live in harmony with the environment and the ecosystems that support it — without us wanting for anything.

Just to give you an idea how far this plant can take us, here are 15 amazing ways hemp can be a game-changer for planet Earth…

#1) Growing hemp prevents pesticide pollution
Did you know hemp is naturally resistant to pests? Unlike cotton or flax (which are estimated to consume 50% of all pesticides) growing hemp does not require pesticides or herbicides.

 

When pesticides are sprayed on land, they can easily seep into water sources such as a river, ocean, or pond. If pesticides contaminate a body of water it can harm the living creatures within that water source (fish, frogs, insects, and more) along with anyone ingesting it.

Pesticides have been linked to cancer, birth defects, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s Disease to name a few. So not only are pesticides dangerous for the environment, they are also a hazard to our health.

By integrating hemp, we can significantly reduce our exposure to unnecessary toxins and pollutants.

#2) Hemp helps restores soil fertility
Hemp can grow in a wide variety of terrains and soil types. It forms deep roots helping to hold the soil together. This in turn prevents soil erosion. In fact, hemp also increases the microbial content of the soil. And the incredible benefits don’t end there.

The stem and leaves of the hemp plant are rich in nutrients. After harvesting, these nutrient-dense remnants of the hemp plant can be returned to the soil, rejuvenating it for a richer yield the following year.

#3) Hemp can produce biodegradable plastics
Americans used over 45 billion plastic water bottles in 2015 alone. Even crazier: plastic water bottles can take anywhere between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose.

Considering the United States’ recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, there is room for improvement to say the least. [Recycling is also a one-time-only deal, meaning plastics are actually down-cycled into other forms of plastic before ultimately reaching landfill —

The basic building blocks of plastics are cellulose derived from petroleum. Yet petroleum is highly toxic. Hemp on the other hand happens to be the greatest cellulose producer on earth. It also happens to be biodegradable.

Why not use non-toxic and biodegradable hemp for producing plastics? Instead of stuffing our landfills with toxic chemicals we could reuse and recycle natural products.

#4) The hemp plant absorbs toxic metals
Soil sustains life. The plants that feed, clothe, and house us originate from the earth. Yet we’ve become increasingly detached from this basic human need. Meanwhile, man-made waste has contaminated soil across the globe. Both our planet’s health and our personal health are under duress, and the need for change is imminent.

It has already been proven that hemp can eliminate toxins from the environment. Hemp is so effective at absorbing toxic materials it has even been used for removing nuclear radiation from Fukushima and Chernobyl.

 

#5) Hemp is an outstanding renewable biofuel
Imagine if there was a non-toxic fuel source that could be domestically produced and was totally renewable. Turns out that material already exists. It’s been on this planet for hundreds and thousands of years.

Hemp converts to biodiesel at a 97 percent efficiency rate. It also burns at a lower temperature than any other type of biofuel. Plus, when burned in a diesel engine, hemp eradicates the exhaust odor of petroleum with the pleasant smell of hemp.

With over 4,000,000 miles of roads in the United States, transitioning to hemp biodiesel could help heal our planet one mile at a time.

#6) Fabrics made from hemp do not contain chemical residue
Did you know the majority of synthetic fibers we use today are manufactured from polymer-based petrochemical materials (AKA highly toxic materials)? Producing these synthetic materials requires an energy-intensive process, burning large amounts of gas, coal, or crude oil. And if that wasn’t enough, this type of manufacturing process releases toxic emissions into the air while also leaving toxic residues within the fibers. Not exactly a pleasant notion.

Yet, this problem can be avoided by switching to hemp. Hemp fibers are easily removed from the plant and can create clothing with zero chemical residue. Hemp is also a highly durable fabric and UV resistant.

#7) Hemp can balance effects of carbon emissions
Industrial hemp has the power to transform the environment. Hemp is unique in that it is one of the few crops capable of balancing human carbon emissions through rapid carbon dioxide uptake. It does this through a process known as carbon sequestration.

When cultivated, hemp actually captures carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Essentially, hemp helps sequester or “trap” carbon from the air into plants. For every ton of hemp produced, 1.63 tons of carbon is removed from the air.n

8) Cultivating hemp prevents deforestation
Deforestation is increasing across the globe at alarming rates. Scientists now believe the rate of deforestation equates to a loss of 48 football fields every minute. Within 100 years, it is estimated there will be no rainforests. Shamefully, the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than one-third of the world’s paper.

But there is hope. Hemp can easily replace trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper. Once acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as four acres of trees. While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown and rapidly reproduced within months. Hemp paper is also more durable than paper produced from trees.

In other words, this is a no-brainer – transitioning to hemp could literally save our trees, and ultimately, our planet.

#9) Industrial hemp conserves water
It can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of cotton. In fact, cotton is one of the most water-dependent crops around and is quickly depleting our limited freshwater sources.

Meanwhile, hemp requires minimal irrigation in comparison to cotton. A study in the UK comparing cotton production to hemp production found that hemp required 634-898 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of hemp.

Considering hemp is suitable for fiber production, it is clear to see the superior option.

 

#10) Hemp supports sustainable farming practices
Farmers who practice sustainable farming techniques know the importance of rotating crops by season. Not only does it keep the soil nutrient-rich, it also increases the overall yield.

Hemp happens to be an ideal plant for crop rotation. It enriches the soil while also removing toxins. Growing hemp helps keep the soil and air more habitable for years to come.

#11) Growing hemp prevents soil compaction and erosion
Did you now soil compaction and erosion are some of the biggest problems plaguing farmers today? This is particularly true for farmers within the Midwest who depend on two staple crops – soybeans and corn.

Corn contains a deep and fibrous root system that penetrates the ground deep below the surface. Over time, these roots can lead to soil compaction during the winter and spring. Soybeans also have a strong root system but do not penetrate below the topsoil. As a result, soil erosion can frequently occur.

However, hemp is capable of repairing damaged soils. In fact, introducing hemp into crop rotations not only adds diversity but can also reverse the effects of soil compact and erosion. Hemp contains deep roots that can reach up to nine feet below the surface. These hearty roots help to break up soil compaction while also increasing nutrient absorption.

#12) Hemp builds stronger and healthier homes
The use of the hemp plant can extend into every aspect of our lives – including our homes. Fiberboards made from a hemp-based composite are stronger and lighter than those made from wood. Not to mention the combination of hemp and lime (hempcrete) results in a soundproofing system and insulation superior to that of concrete.

Hemp homes are also shown to have incredible durability. One hemp home in Japanis estimated to be over 300 years old!

Perhaps even more astonishing, hemp homes also provide a healthier living environment. Unlike fiberglass or drywall, hempcrete is nontoxic and mold-resistant.

If we’re smart about this, hemp homes will be the future of green living.

#13) Hemp reduces air pollution
Air pollution is not only harmful to human health but can also cause a number of devastating environmental effects. While China is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, the United States is close behind at number 2.

Should we choose to ignore this reality, these problems are likely to increase even further. Meanwhile, hemp can break down pollutants and improve air quality. Hemp can even be used as a paper source, eliminating the need for chlorine bleaching – a direct cause of excess carbon dioxide in the environment.

#14) Hemp grows in almost any environment
Imagine if there was a crop that could be cultivated almost anywhere in the world. In fact, this crop required zero pesticides and could produce over 25,000 products. Better yet, this crop could mature within months and keep producing for years to come. Surprise – that crop is hemp. Hemp is an incredibly durable plant. While hemp thrives in a mild climate and humid atmosphere, it can survive almost anywhere.

From China to Colorado, hemp can grow in a broad range of climate types, which means hemp has the potential to be sourced locally. A source of food, income, and more – hemp farming could change lives for the better. Hemp can also lead to more sustainable farming, which in turn will bolster local economies while having a positive impact on the environment.

 

#15) Hemp can help curb world hunger
Around 795 million people are undernourished globally. In developing countries (where 92 percent of children live) 30 out of every 100 will experience stunted growth due to a lack of nutrition.

Now, imagine if hemp were in the picture. Not only is hemp inexpensive, it can be grown almost anywhere. In fact, hemp seeds are considered to be one of the most nutritionally dense food sources on this planet. A complete protein – hemp seeds supply the body with amino acids, vitamins, and much more!

In addition, hemp seeds can also produce two vital food products – oil and flour. So not only is hemp nutritionally rich but also versatile.

Cultivating hemp as a staple crop could change people’s lives for the better worldwide, especially if you consider the vast number of people that could not only be fed but also nourished by this superfood.

It’s Time We Return to Our Roots.
Humankind have been cultivating hemp for thousands of years. Some anthropologists even believe hemp was the first agricultural crop domesticated by humans over twelve thousand years ago.

It is time we return to our roots.

Switching to hemp products may not solve all of the world’s problems but it is a start. Hemp has the potential to leave a cleaner and greener planet for future generations. So what are we waiting for? It is high time to let the hemp shine once and for all.

Source : The Green Flowers