Marijuana good for economy

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by Superjoint, Jan 22, 2001.

  1. Hemp could provide high for economy
    Region could take the lead in growing industrial hemp, Chris Peck writes.

    Chris Peck, The Spokesman-Review

    Spokane, Wash. -- Hemp could be big.

    Really big, to hear Jill Smith talk about it.

    So big that we might one day be known as the Inland Hempire.

    For Smith, co-owner of EarthGoods LLC, the bright future of industrial hemp could light up the Inland Northwest farm economy and put Spokane on the leading edge of an exploding global market.

    "Hemp gives us something where I honestly think we could be a world center and bring world acclaim to our region," said the woman who last year brought in a million dollars in her first year as a hemp importer and wholesaler.

    Her dream, while audacious and not on the conventional list of economic development strategies, isn't as far-fetched as it might seem.

    While this country is hung up on the family resemblance between industrial hemp and marijuana, the rest of the world is fast becoming hemp-friendly. In central Europe, China and even Canada, farmers grow industrial hemp as a cash crop for export.

    Hemp no longer is just a hippie favorite, either.

    Hemp fibers now are used for automobile interiors in Chrysler convertibles, affordable paper and high-fashion clothing. And, unlike cotton plants, industrial hemp requires little fertilizer and fewer herbicides and pesticides to grow.

    But what really excites Jill Smith is the possibility that the Inland Northwest could in this decade position its economy to be a trendsetter for the world hemp market.

    "There is a whole area of economic development around this one crop that is really, really exciting," she explained. "And we're positioned to be a leader in it."

    Smith's own business as a hemp importer and wholesaler likely will double its sales this year. That is only the first cylinder of an economic engine that could drive Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

    Rather than import industrial hemp twine and fiber from Romania and China, Smith believes Eastern Washington farmers could grow hemp right here.

    "We're at the same latitude as Romania, which is a prime source for industrial hemp farms," she explained. "In fact, they used to grow hemp on the Palouse, before it was declared illegal."

    Until the 1930s, industrial hemp was a crop grown in areas from Kentucky to Washington state. In 1937, the federal government, concerned about the rise in marijuana use and supported by heavy lobbying from the cotton industry, slapped a heavy tax on hemp, killing domestic production.

    By 1972 hemp was lumped under the controlled substances act and declared illegal because it shared a genetic heritage with marijuana.

    But industrial hemp isn't marijuana.

    Pot is a bushy plant with leaves and buds that contain 7 percent to 20 percent of the mind-altering ingredient, THC.

    Industrial hemp is a lanky, 10-foot high bamboo-like plant that has only one-tenth of 1 percent THC, not enough to have any effect if ingested.

    Still, both plants are illegal to grow.

    But those who are pushing industrial hemp as a rotation crop for Eastern Washington have begun to find some allies in farm country who would like to change that.

    The grange now supports the idea of looking at hemp as a possible cash crop, according to Mark Schoesler, a young farmer from Ritzville and 9th District Republican state senator.

    "As a society I think we have gone past the point of fearing industrial hemp as the demon weed and could accept it as an industrial product," Schoesler said from his legislative office in Olympia.

    "I'd like to see Washington State University undertake a feasibility study on whether hemp could be a commercial crop in the state," he said.

    Schoesler and Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford plan to introduce legislation this session that would fund a study of industrial hemp as a possible alternative to wheat in some areas.

    The two farm country politicians already are thinking through some practical issues that would confront the region's hemp farmers.

    "We don't now have a commercial seed source for hemp," said Rep. Schoesler, who himself was an early grower of canola. "If somebody said they wanted to try to grow 10 acres, we couldn't get the seed."

    Then there is the problem of no licensed herbicides and insecticide suitable for hemp.

    "Unless you are going to hand weed this crop or grow it organically, what are you going to do with grasshoppers, mites and weeds?"

    This is the practical farm talk that is important if industrial hemp ever is to become a reality.

    Similar discussions would be fruitful among small manufacturers who might make farm machinery to harvest the hardy hemp, and among seed growers who could market hemp seeds worldwide.

    The skills needed to build a hemp market already exist around the Inland Northwest.

    To date, much of the support for hemp has come from owners of head shops and craft stores.

    That's not the future of industrial hemp.

    To become a legitimate industry, hemp needs more people like Jill Smith and Mark Schoesler who will be intrigued by the big picture possibilities of hemp and will step up to meet the practical challenges that would face the Inland Hempire.

    Contact the author:
    Chris Peck

    Copyright © 2001 The Spokesman-Review

     
  2. hemp and dope should be legal.

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. superjoint ,

    There really is a lot of confusing information that US citizens have been exposed to. Most ,if not all ,who oppose legalization/decriminalization of marijuana oppose the legalization of Industrial Hemp. They do not know that there are major differences between the two plants.
    I blame the "War on Drugs" for this. Now is the time to try to re-educate the masses.
    Great post.
    roach
     
  4. Yeah, *L* was telling me all about this, and it's just a dirty shame.
     
  5. [quote name='"superjoint"']Hemp could provide high for economy
    Region could take the lead in growing industrial hemp, Chris Peck writes.

    Chris Peck, The Spokesman-Review

    Spokane, Wash. -- Hemp could be big.

    Really big, to hear Jill Smith talk about it.

    So big that we might one day be known as the Inland Hempire.

    For Smith, co-owner of EarthGoods LLC, the bright future of industrial hemp could light up the Inland Northwest farm economy and put Spokane on the leading edge of an exploding global market.

    "Hemp gives us something where I honestly think we could be a world center and bring world acclaim to our region," said the woman who last year brought in a million dollars in her first year as a hemp importer and wholesaler.

    Her dream, while audacious and not on the conventional list of economic development strategies, isn't as far-fetched as it might seem.

    While this country is hung up on the family resemblance between industrial hemp and marijuana, the rest of the world is fast becoming hemp-friendly. In central Europe, China and even Canada, farmers grow industrial hemp as a cash crop for export.

    Hemp no longer is just a hippie favorite, either.

    Hemp fibers now are used for automobile interiors in Chrysler convertibles, affordable paper and high-fashion clothing. And, unlike cotton plants, industrial hemp requires little fertilizer and fewer herbicides and pesticides to grow.

    But what really excites Jill Smith is the possibility that the Inland Northwest could in this decade position its economy to be a trendsetter for the world hemp market.

    "There is a whole area of economic development around this one crop that is really, really exciting," she explained. "And we're positioned to be a leader in it."

    Smith's own business as a hemp importer and wholesaler likely will double its sales this year. That is only the first cylinder of an economic engine that could drive Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

    Rather than import industrial hemp twine and fiber from Romania and China, Smith believes Eastern Washington farmers could grow hemp right here.

    "We're at the same latitude as Romania, which is a prime source for industrial hemp farms," she explained. "In fact, they used to grow hemp on the Palouse, before it was declared illegal."

    Until the 1930s, industrial hemp was a crop grown in areas from Kentucky to Washington state. In 1937, the federal government, concerned about the rise in marijuana use and supported by heavy lobbying from the cotton industry, slapped a heavy tax on hemp, killing domestic production.

    By 1972 hemp was lumped under the controlled substances act and declared illegal because it shared a genetic heritage with marijuana.

    But industrial hemp isn't marijuana.

    Pot is a bushy plant with leaves and buds that contain 7 percent to 20 percent of the mind-altering ingredient, THC.

    Industrial hemp is a lanky, 10-foot high bamboo-like plant that has only one-tenth of 1 percent THC, not enough to have any effect if ingested.

    Still, both plants are illegal to grow.

    But those who are pushing industrial hemp as a rotation crop for Eastern Washington have begun to find some allies in farm country who would like to change that.

    The grange now supports the idea of looking at hemp as a possible cash crop, according to Mark Schoesler, a young farmer from Ritzville and 9th District Republican state senator.

    "As a society I think we have gone past the point of fearing industrial hemp as the demon weed and could accept it as an industrial product," Schoesler said from his legislative office in Olympia.

    "I'd like to see Washington State University undertake a feasibility study on whether hemp could be a commercial crop in the state," he said.

    Schoesler and Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford plan to introduce legislation this session that would fund a study of industrial hemp as a possible alternative to wheat in some areas.

    The two farm country politicians already are thinking through some practical issues that would confront the region's hemp farmers.

    "We don't now have a commercial seed source for hemp," said Rep. Schoesler, who himself was an early grower of canola. "If somebody said they wanted to try to grow 10 acres, we couldn't get the seed."

    Then there is the problem of no licensed herbicides and insecticide suitable for hemp.

    "Unless you are going to hand weed this crop or grow it organically, what are you going to do with grasshoppers, mites and weeds?"

    This is the practical farm talk that is important if industrial hemp ever is to become a reality.

    Similar discussions would be fruitful among small manufacturers who might make farm machinery to harvest the hardy hemp, and among seed growers who could market hemp seeds worldwide.

    The skills needed to build a hemp market already exist around the Inland Northwest.

    To date, much of the support for hemp has come from owners of head shops and craft stores.

    That's not the future of industrial hemp.

    To become a legitimate industry, hemp needs more people like Jill Smith and Mark Schoesler who will be intrigued by the big picture possibilities of hemp and will step up to meet the practical challenges that would face the Inland Hempire.

    Contact the author:
    Chris Peck

    Copyright © 2001 The Spokesman-Review

    [/quote]

    Didn't know a lot of these things, very interesting. Thank you =)

    +rep
     
  6. Learn something new every day. I'm set for the month now!
     

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