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In 1775 Archibald McNeill officially registered the Bluegrass regions first crop near the community of Danville in the then county of Kentucky in the Colony of Virginia. According to the historical marker that sits in front of the Boyle County Courthouse, Archibald Cox planted seed he brought with him to Kentucky near Clark’s Run Creek. That crop was hemp.

From McNeill’s first seeds in 1775 until 1915 hemp was Kentucky’s largest cash crop. From 1840-1860 Kentucky lead the nation in hemp production. During this time Kentucky hemp was used in products ranging from cordage and rigging for ships, canvas for covered wagons, sails and textile products of all kinds. Hemp processing is incredibly labor intensive. Historical records indicate that numerous factories and textile mills operated in the region creating employment opportunities outside of agriculture.

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An embattled pharmaceutical company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl has donated $500,000 toward defeating a ballot initiative that would make recreational use of marijuana legal under Arizona law.

Read the full article here

 

 

I just read NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup’s blog explaining his take on the current state of cannabis legalization efforts. Keith has been an important voice in cannabis law reform advocacy for decades. His hard work and efforts are greatly appreciated. However, I have to disagree with the premise of his article.

Stroup is correct in his observation that what will ultimately drive cannabis legalization will be economics. However, his analogy to the gambling industry and assertion that it is primarily the government and “morality” at the nexus of this log jam is outdated thinking. Yes, the federal government is missing out on a huge revenue stream by prohibiting cannabis in all forms and failing to generate tax revenue from its sale. But cannabis prohibition today is not a function of some government intention to legislate morality. Nor will it be potential tax revenue that moves the government to finally act.

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The University of Kentucky hosted its second ever “Hemp Day” August 11, 2016 at the Coldstream Research facility, just outside of Lexington, KY.  The UK event is the third such academic event this season, with previous hemp days being conducted at both Western Kentucky and Murray State Universities. 

The event started with coffee and donuts along with some brief words from various researchers and participants involved in the hemp pilot program.  There are also a few tables with displays detailing uses of hemp and various student research projects.   From there attendees were divided into two groups.

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The DEA fell back to the comfort of their favorite position when it comes to making a decision regarding the rescheduling of cannabis from a Schedule 1 substance with no medically approved uses. They said, not enough research has been done to justify rescheduling cannabis. They did however loosen restrictions on universities looking to grow cannabis for research purposes.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog this should have come as no surprise. Asking a law enforcement agency about eliminating laws that support their industry is like asking oil companies to start promoting the use of electric cars. 

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Although disappointing, the recent recommendation by the DEA that cannabis not be reclassified to Schedule II was by no means a surprise.  While the states that have passed marijuana law reforms do not appear to be suffering from the chaos, gloom and doom that legalization opponents predicted, federal officials still lay claim to the position that “not enough empirical evidence” has been generated to warrant the potential public safety threat. 

So what is the motivation for the DEA recommendation and what is the potential impact to this emerging industry.

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Reports from The Cannabist as released June 22nd indicate that Pennsylvania may become a medical marijuana hub. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Adam Smeltz covered the observations, starting with Lalit Chordia. 

Mr. Chordia is known around the Greater Pittsburgh area as CEO of Thar Energy, LLC. Thar Energy is the parent company of Thar Process Inc. in O’Hara, PA. In an attempt to disassociate from the ever present marijuana industry stigma, Mr. Chrodia made it clear that his operation is “not a medical marijuana company.” Unfortunately for him, Thar Process Inc. has mastered a high pressure extraction method… ideal for producing medical marijuana treatments. Prior to Pennsylvania’s Act 16, Mr. Chrodia was unable to see the large profits from the marijuana industry. Luckily, that’s changed now. 

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Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe won’t be on the next roster, and it may be for his advocacy for medical marijuana. Monroe’s January recovery from a shoulder injury inspired him to write about marijuana versus opioids, and donate $80,000 to medical marijuana researchers at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. His work, he tweeted, was all for his “brothers… the players that make up the team… our future health and wellness.”

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