Between June 6 and 12, Oregon will participate in the celebration of the 7th annual Hemp History Week. This nationwide event, brought to you by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp, has a goal of reforming the outdated drug laws to legalize hemp at the federal level. While over 25 states no longer ban industrial hemp farming, federal law still prohibits commercial industrial hemp cultivation and distribution.
Oregon’s contribution is the 4th annual Oregon Hemp Convention, running June 11 and 12 at the Portland Expo Center (www.oregonhempconvention.com). The Convention has grown in size each year since it’s founding, and remains a bargain at $20 for a two-day pass. This year the convention will host multiple vendors, an edible, topical and dispensary gallery, and free, live, one-hour tutorials featuring some of the best canna minds in Oregon (Eco Firma, 7 Points, Green Bodhi, Farma and others) teaching what they know best. Classes include tips on how to cure and clone, make solventless concentrates, grow veganic and much more.
The OHC’s Executive Director, Jerry Norton, believes this is an event for everyone, regardless if they have an interest in medical cannabis, adult recreational use, or how hemp can be used in to make over 25,00 products. It drew over 4,000 attendees in 2015, and Norton said demand and interest required a semi-annual convention.
Norton is a long time advocate for industrial hemp, and in 2015 received one of the first commercial hemp production licenses offered to Oregonians in over 100 years. His company, American Hemp Seed Genetics (www.Americanhempseedgentics.com) produced a crop in Salem last year. Norton converted that crop into CBD oil, which he used to produce CBD infused honey sticks, dog and cat treats, as well as seed for the 2016 crop.
An acre of Hemp can fit thousands of plants, each growing 10 to 14 feet tall. On average, a single crop grown on an acre of hemp can produce 6-10 tons of hemp fiber, 8,000 pounds of hemp seed, and 40 pounds of CBD oil. Norton’s CBD hemp oil tested at 40% CBD, with less than 0.003% THC.
Norton’s plans for 2016 include increasing the total number of hemp plants he grows to his 300 acres to 450,000. Some of the final product will be purchased by a company making fiberboard, some will be used for seed for the next planting, and some will be used for a very Oregon product.
Local manufacturer, Hemp Shield, makes a hemp oil wood sealant and is going to source the seed needed for the hemp oil from Norton. Until now, Hemp Shield has had to import their hemp from overseas. Now, it will come from a fellow Oregonian, less than 75 miles away.
Thank God It’s Hemp Day: Fun Hemp Facts
1 acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Cotton requires large quantities of pesticides and herbicides, with 50% of the world’s pesticides/herbicides used in it’s production. Hemp requires no pesticides, herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer.
1 acre of hemp will produce as much paper as 2 to 4 acres of trees, and is ready for harvesting 120 days after it is planted.
Hemp can be used to produce fiberboard that is stronger and lighter than wood, and hempcrete, which is stronger and lighter than traditional concrete.
Hemp can be used to produce strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitutes.
Hemp seeds contain a protein that is more nutritious and more economical to produce than soybean protein. Hemp seeds can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybeans, such as tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc. Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods.
Hemp: The Weed You Can’t Smoke
Hemp is a “Cannabis Sativa L.” plant, and it’s been cultivated for at least 10,000 years. It’s much higher in CBD than most “marijuana” plants, and has more uses than can be listed. Rope, oil, food, medicine, concrete, cosmetics, fabrics, even batteries. It’s a plant with an unmatched diversity of uses. Many of the products it can replace are made from petrochemicals (aka fossil fuels). Hemp can also be swapped for raw materials that are heavily dependent on chemicals, fertilizers and growing methods that take a serious toll on our soil and environment.
Don’t bother rolling up a fat hemp joint. The endless cough won’t soon be forgotten, as hemp has a THC content of about 0.3%, or about the same amount in the weed your brother-in-law grows under a desk lamp.
The sticky cannabis we’re all so fond of is far higher in THC and lower in CBD that the hemp plant. While cannabis has numerous benefits, it has little value as an industrial crop outside the buds.