HEMP IN AUSTRALIA
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20.04.2004 - 19:19:23
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Hemp Resources Ltd.
06.07.2004 - 11:58:14
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Libs keen on commercial hemp for ACT
AUSTRALIA — The ACT Opposition has outlined its argument for the cultivation of commercial hemp in the ACT.
The Liberals say the cultivation of commercial hemp would provide jobs and an alternative crop for farmers.
The Opposition’s Jacqui Burke has tabled legislation in the Assembly which would permit the growth of hemp for commercial use.
Commercial hemp is already grown in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland, and Mrs Burke says the notion that it promotes illicit drug use is ridiculous.
“Evidence shows that to get any sort of high, rather more likely to be a enormous headache from industrial hemp, a person would literally have to smoke a paddock full of it,” she said.
Ms Burke says commercial hemp cultivation should be considered when examining future uses for land burnt out during last years bushfires.
The legislation will be debated during the next sitting of the Assembly in August.
02.07.2004 - 15:40:17
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Western Australia Gets the green light for commercial hemp production
Hemp Hemp Hooray!! On the 5th March 2004, the Government finally tabled the Industrial Hemp Bill of 2004. Whilst it had been drafted last year as the Industrial Hemp Bill of 2003, the inability to table the legislation in the final sittings of parliament in December as had been undertaken and with a guarantee of a clear passage through by all political parties, was yet another setback for this exciting industry.
The bill was then proclaimed as an act of Parliament on the 19th May 2004 and since that time the new Registrar for the industry has been appointed removing the obstacle of having to deal with the Ministers for Agriculture, Police and Health.
We are now extremely confident of getting the industry off the ground in Western Australia and on 14th June 2004 Hemp Resources Limited lodged application number 1 for the commercial cultivation processing and manufacturing of products from the most regal plant on the planet.
From 3rd-8th May 2004, Hemp Resources Limited hosted a delegation consisting of our Chinese partners from Qingdao and Shenyang along with associates from New Zealand and other territories. The purpose of the visit was to look at various opportunities and areas in relation to the building of a 7000 Ton per annum whole stem hemp paper mill for production of TCF (totally chlorine free) hemp paper. The TCF process is the most environmentally friendly paper making process in the world and the paper and card quality is not only superior, but can be recycled many times.
A number of other exciting developments have been taking place over the past few months that include negotiations for the purchase of a textile mill in the industrial estate near the Chinese port of Qingdao. Given the shortage of hemp fibre internationally, it seems sensible to utilize Western Australia’s vast areas of land and our extensive broad acre ability to fill the void in the international marketplace. Feedstock for the textile mill alone will be in the vicinity of 230,000 tons per annum and a further 20,000 tons per annum of whole Hemp stems will be required to produce the 7000 tons of paper and card annually.
At this stage the town of Moora is the preferred option and we have been extremely impressed by the support from the staff at Moora Shire and councillors alike.
On the fabric and textile side of business, we are currently negotiating the supply of t-shirts for the Environment Centre of Western Australia and the Wilderness Society. A number of other quotes have been given on items from carry bags for the International Herb Conference to be held in September to Hemp awnings for several shops, again including the Environment Centre of Western Australia.
Our own Sandy Griffith has been busy designing a fantastic range of hemp clothing for the larger ladies and the Malaga factory has also been busy designing and creating some really special lines for our soon to open retail outlet at 842 Beaufort Street, Inglewood.
Liu Bin, President of Hemp Resources (China) Limited has only just returned from Agra in India where he has been sourcing other Hemp products that include rugs, mats and floor coverings to name a few.
All in all, things are going very well now that the legislation has finally been proclaimed and we are looking forward to taking a leading position globally in the re-emergence of this wonder crop. Enquires are being received on a very regular basis from persons wanting to open franchises and be a part of this exciting industry so we have no doubt our persistence and patience is about to reap the rewards of the many years work in setting up the infra-structure to enable the industry to succeed.
12.05.2004 - 17:28:15
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Hemp breeding coming of age
Monday, May 05, 2004
LONDON, Ontario — Hemp production in Ontario is finally stepping into its teenage stage, six years after the federal government approved its use as a crop. Of course, the teens aren’t exactly a smooth ride. The carefree optimism of toddler years and childhood can sometimes give way to the cold reality of blemishes and mood swings on its way to solid adulthood.
The industry is dealing “with all the ups and downs of that age,” says Peter Elkerton of Owen Sound, executive director of the Ontario Hemp Alliance.
Some growers got in too fast and too deep; some had high hopes for a U.S. market for their products but their efforts and businesses were dashed by restrictive import rules.
“Some of us jumped into the whole hemp thing, thinking, ‘This product is so good, all you have to do is put it in the ground and off you go,’ ” Elkerton says.
But, slowly it’s growing as producers find new markets for hemp fibre‹which goes into rope and clothing and can be a component of paper, “plastic” lumber, insulation and animal bedding‹and food-grade oils and grains for healthy-food recipes.
But little more proof is needed that Canada hemp production is coming into its own than Peter Dragla’s recent work in Australia.
Dragla, a Ridgetown College plant breeder and probably Canada’s leading hemp specialist, just returned from a trip down under to work with the Aussies to develop hemp seeds that would grow well in a subtropical climate.
“I remember how I was seven years ago” when starting from scratch, Dragla says, so he jumped at the chance to help out.
“There are not too many centres doing hemp breeding in the world,” he says.
But seeds that grow into two-metre hemp plants in Southwestern Ontario would be considerably smaller if transplanted near an Australian rainforest because of fewer daylight growing hours there. (And with hemp production largely measured by tons-per-acre, size is important.)
Dragla is helping to breed seeds that can manage the vastly different climate. He shows a photo of the 2003 harvest near Ridgetown. Queensland’s crop will look like this “in three years,” he predicts.
Hemp is a cousin of marijuana but with trace amounts or no amounts of the chemical that produces a “high” if smoked.
It’s not pot and it’s not weed, producers still have to emphasize, but “the giggle factor about hemp versus marijuana has diminished quite a bit,” Elkerton says.
What Dragla and Elkerton and all producers hope is that some day hemp will grow out of its novelty stage and be viewed as every bit as mainstream as corn and soybeans.
Is it likely? Well, realistically, its expansion from a niche market would require a huge technological and practical leap in yield, acreage and application.
Even so, if it’s a dream, some people are making a decent living from it.
In Manitoba, a group is planning to build a $15-million hemp fibre processing plant at Dauphin.
A Toronto-based company sells hemp-based salad oils and hemp chips at specialty health stores across the country.
And elsewhere, deals are afoot to grow more products and markets.
In Delaware, west of London, Hempline Inc. president Geoff Kime says the versatility of the product lends itself well to having a breakout season soon.
He says it’s growing into a commercial-sized industry from its initial stages of being large-scale pilot operations.
“Things are definitely on an upsurge. It’s now a matter of expanding capacity,” Kime says.
As with any living thing, hemp production will experience its successes and failures, surges and setbacks.
Those in the industry have heard all the half-jests about living in a pipe-dream world.
But Elkerton is obviously far from alone in preparing for the next big growth spurt that may signal a breakthrough. He hopes producers and processors will be ready when it does.
“We don’t have the infrastructure yet to do that. But it’ll come.”
12.05.2004 - 14:49:27
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New South Wales researchers experiment with cannabis ‘mop-crop’
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
KERRY O’BRIEN: With water restrictions in force for many of our major cities, there’s plenty of incentive to make better use of one of our most precious natural resources.
One promising scheme now under trial is the use of what’s called a mop crop — a plant so greedy for water and nutrition it can be used to soak up effluent that would otherwise be dumped into our waterways.
Genevieve Hussey reports on the unlikely plant that’s now being touted as the answer to one of Australia’s biggest environmental problems.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: For decades, the far north coast of NSW has been home to Australia’s counter-culture.
The lush fertile valleys around Nimbin have been renowned for communes and cannabis.
Near Bangalo, a short drive from Nimbin, Keith Bolton is checking his own cannabis crop.
He has thousands of 2 metre high plants, all perfectly legal.
According to Keith Bolton, you could smoke the entire crop and all you’d get would be a headache.
KEITH BOLTON, RESEARCHER, SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY: We grow what’s called low-THC hemp.
In other words, if you smoke it you don’t get stoned.
We grow the hemp a lot more densely.
We grow 200 seeds per square metre because we want to maximise stems rather than, say, the leaf material.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Keith Bolton is a researcher with Southern Cross University, growing industrial cannabis or hemp.
He calls it a ‘mop crop’, greedy for nutrients and water.
This trial plot is watered with effluent from the local sewerage plant, which would otherwise have been discharged in the waterways.
In just 100 days, it’s soaked up 10 million litres of treated sewage.
KEITH BOLTON: This project is about turning waste water into resource water.
Currently, most effluent produced in Australia is dumped as a waste into the rivers and oceans.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Every year, Australia dumps 1,500 gigalitres of effluent from sewerage plants into our waterways and the ocean.
That’s the equivalent of 750,000 Olympic swimming pools of sewage.
Despite a rising standard of processing, the effluent can cause serious environmental problems.
DR JOHN RADCLIFFE, ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES & ENGINEERING.
You run the risk of algal blooms, and you may have the problem of degradation of seagrass in the environment from the high levels of, say, nitrogen and phosphorus that might be going out to sea or into the waterways.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Dr John Radcliffe has just completed a major study for the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences looking at how we’re recycling water.
He says drought over the past few years has placed an extra strain on Australia’s water supply and encouraged councils to re-use their effluent. 10 per cent of sewage is now being recycled.
Within 10 years, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth plan to double that figure.
DR JOHN RADCLIFFE: A lot of the water we are using in our cities, although it’s drinking water quality, doesn’t need to be used for what it’s being used for — for watering gardens or flushing toilets.
And we can restructure our water so that we use recycled water for that sort of thing.
PHIL KING, BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL: Water is a fairly scarce resource.
Unless we start using it wisely and using it more than once, our water shortages are going to become more of a problem in the future.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Byron Shire Council says it’s already looking for innovative solutions to its waste water problems.
The council is working with Keith Bolton, planting a mop crop of 500,000 paperbark trees to rehabilitate land near its sewage treatment plant.
PHIL KING: First of all we wanted to clean up all the waterways.
And secondly to actually use the effluent that comes out of our systems, treated water that comes out of systems, as resource and not considered a waste.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Mop crops are not only helping solve an environmental problem — in the case of hemp, researchers hope they could turn it into a moneymaker.
Industrial hemp is worth $200 a tonne.
In the lab, they’re working out just how much fibre can be harvested from Keith Bolton’s hemp.
KEITH BOLTON: On our last crop we yielded 18 tonnes of dry matter per hectare in a 100 day-cycle, which is very rapid growth.
And that’s exactly what we’re looking for when we do mop crops.
PHIL WARNER: ECOFIBRE INDUSTRIES: Hemp is one of those commodities — there’s fibre and there’s cellulose in it, and you use fibre in almost every daily application you can think of, from plastics to furnishing to flooring to insulation.
GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Keith Bolton is already experimenting with other mop crops, including a fibre plant called kenaf and bamboo.
For him, a controversial crop of cannabis has served its purpose.
KEITH BOLTON: Of course, well, who wants to come and talk about sewage?
Not a whole lot of people.
So I guess hemp, we knew, would attract a certain amount of attention to a very important issue about dealing with this waste water.
12.05.2004 - 14:42:37
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Hemp production trials extended
Sunday, May 09, 2004
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia — Trials of commercial hemp production would continue in New South Wales (NSW) despite the limited success of tests underway since 1995, State MP Steve Whan said.
But, the NSW government warned anyone interested in growing the crop it contained only low levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Mr Whan said that since 1995 when trials were first authorised, there had been 60 separate trials delivering important data on hemp growing and the potential of manufacturing its fibre.
He said the government warned that earlier trials had been difficult, producing low yields.
The first planting was carried out at Armidale but was never harvested because it performed below expectation and was waterlogged.
“We recognise that this area has been difficult, but we are willing to look at new crops for farmers and ways to continue and expand agriculture in NSW,” Mr Whan said.
“However, part of the research is discovering what works and what does not.”
But, he said with more countries utilising hemp fibre for fabrics and other materials there was a real likelihood the trials could become commercially viable projects.
Mr Whan said there was a growing market for hemp fibre overseas so if production was successful in the long term, it could become an export product.
12.05.2004 - 14:40:20
, level: 1,
New South Wales to extend hemp production trials
Sunday, May 09, 2004
The New South Wales Government is extending its trials of commercial hemp production but has warned anyone interested in growing the crop that it only contains low levels of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.
Monaro MP Steve Whan says a few trials have been underway since 1995, with little success.
He says with more countries utilising hemp fibres for fabrics and other materials, there is a real likelihood the trials could become commercially viable projects.
“At the moment with the trials, it’s all about industry research organisations trying to work out and evaluate the fibre’s manufacturing potential,” he said.
“There is a market for this fibre overseas so if this is something that’s successful in the long term, it might be something which could be exported.”
28.04.2004 - 16:06:16
, level: 1,
Cannabis issue lands at doors of Parliament
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
AUSTRALIA — MARK COLVIN: Two and a half tonnes of cannabis landed at the doors of Federal Parliament today, a gift from Queensland.
It’s the legal stuff, of course, though it did raise a few eyebrows.
A frustrated Queensland company has sent each federal politician a 10-kilogram pack of industrial hemp mulch.
It’s part of a long-running battle to get the Government to relax the restrictions on growing hemp for food and fibre.
Ian Townsend reports.
IAN TOWNSEND: The mailrooms at Parliament House get the occasional odd item in the post. These individually addressed packs of cannabis posed a few problems, mainly because of their size, not their contents.
PHILIP WARNER: This is first commercial product that has been produced of industrial hemp in Australia. And we thought we’d give them a sample, and get the discussion up there for debate.
I mean, simply what we are trying to achieve is that the Government should recognise that there is a considerable difference between marijuana, and industrial hemp, and stop putting industrial hemp in the same bracket as marijuana at all the time.
IAN TOWNSEND: Philip Warner is the Managing Director of Ecofibre Industries, a Brisbane-based company that’s process industrial hemp from trial farms in Queensland, Victoria, and Tasmania.
It’s up to state governments whether they’ll allow industrial hemp to be grown, but Mr Warner’s seeking Federal Government’s moral and financial support to turn it into something more valuable than garden mulch.
He says without federal backing, an international market for fibre, food and plastics is going begging.
PHILIP WARNER: Every time we go to a government agency about sort of some assistance. Whether it’s to do some research into technology or to import a piece of unique equipment, or even to develop that equipment ourselves, we get a knock back.
And it’s more of an attitudinal thing. I’ve been to Warren Truss’ department, I’ve been to McFarlane’s department, I’ve been to a number of departments trying to get somewhere with this, but we always get knocked back at the top end.
And we in Australia, our varieties, outperform all those anywhere else in the world. We have double the yield, and further more, we are even just doing a joint-venture presently with a French company where we’ve invented a technology which will revolutionize the industry by reducing the price by about 30 per cent and decreasing all the handling and processing costs.
And we can’t get anybody to look at this from a government prospective. They’re, sort of, more worried about whether it is a problem for police or not. Well, it’s not.
IAN TOWNSEND: If a politician wanted to say brew up some of this hemp and try to distil into something that might be able to get high on, they wouldn’t be able to do that?
PHILIP WARNER: Well, they would have to smoke something probably about two times the size of a telegraph pole, and I think they’d probably die of asphyxiation before they got anywhere near any potential… like marijuana is of a level which can create psychoactive changes in the mind, whereas industrial hemp is clearly well beyond that.
IAN TOWNSEND: Do you think a bag of hemp to the Prime Minister is going to soften his attitude towards the product?
PHILIP WARNER: I don’t think… we didn’t expect that would happen. I just hope that he has the opportunity to think twice about this, and get someone to get in touch with the organisations that are involved or with ourselves, so that he can actually hear the real story rather then some sort of scare mongering drug story.
The bottom line is we would dearly love some government assistance there. Not necessarily just in money, but also in attitudinal response, rather then this sort of stonewall, ‘oh we are dealing with drugs’. You’re not.
MARK COLVIN: Philip Warner, Managing Director of Ecofiber Industries Limited with Ian Townsend.
27.04.2004 - 08:42:54
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Industry praises hemp bill as major boost for retailers
Thursday, March 4, 2004
A Western Australia hemp retailer has welcomed the passage of the industrial hemp bill through the State’s Parliament.
The legislation allows for the commercial cultivation and processing of industrial hemp under licence to make textiles and oil, and follows trials in the south-west of the State and the Kimberley.
The co-owner of the Margaret River Hemp Company, Georgina Wilkinson, says it will be a major boost for hemp retailers and could mean cheaper prices for consumers.
“We think it’s absolutely great. It’s been going on for a long time now and compared to other states here in Australia we’re actually a long way behind. So it’s quite good to actually catch up to everybody else,” she said.
“And we actually buy all our fabrics from overseas and get people to make it here in Australia. But obviously it would be a lot better if we could make it here in Australia ourselves.”
Greens MLC Christine Sharp says the industry has enormous potential if the Government does its part.
“Removing the legal impediment to the growing of hemp in Western Australia is great, but it is certainly not enough for us to have a successful hemp industry,” Ms Sharp said.
“And we now need a massive amount of research to find the right strains of hemp for growing in Western Australia.”
20.04.2004 - 19:22:36
, level: 1,
Hemp drink under attack
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Editors note: Taking this product off the shelves is a victory for the New Zealand hemp industry. This product does not contain hemp, nor marijuana for that matter, yet the marketer of the drink is trying to profit off the marketability of a cannabis leaf. The bottom line: If a product doesn’t contain hemp, it shouldn’t have a label containing a cannabis leaf.
TAMWORTH, New South Wales, Australia — Hemp is now for sale at general stores throughout New South Wales (NSW). It comes in the form of a drink.
The drink is not actually made from hemp, but features marijuana leaves on the label and contains large amounts of caffeine.
The Opposition’s Fair Trading spokeswoman, Katrina Hodgkinson MP, believes the drink is promoting illicit drugs to teenagers.
“The selling of this drink with the marijuana leaves on the front is like saying it is okay to have hemp, so it’s okay to use marijuana,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The labelling of this high-caffeine drink is obviously aimed at young teenagers. The association of this drink with an illegal drug is unconscionable.”
Ms Hodgkinson brought the drink to Minister for Fair Trading Reba Meagher’s attention, who has said she would refer it to the Department of Fair Trading for advice as she was not aware of its existence.
The drink is also high in caffeine and Ms Hodgkinson said it was hard to read warnings in small print about the recommended amount to consume and who should not drink it.
Ms Hodgkinson first discovered the drink when she walked into a corner shop, where it was on sale for $3 a bottle. The drink is imported from New Zealand.
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