Skip to comments.Man aims to become licensed hemp farmer
Posted on 01/15/2007 2:07:51 PM PST by ellery
BISMARCK, N.D. - David Monson began pushing the idea of growing industrial hemp in the United States a decade ago. Now his goal may be within reach but first he needs to be fingerprinted. Monson plans this week to apply to become the nation's first licensed industrial hemp farmer. He will have to provide two sets of fingerprints and proof that he's not a criminal.
The farmer, school superintendent and state legislator would like to start by growing 10 acres of the crop, and he spent part of his weekend staking out the field he wants to use.
"I'm starting to see that we maybe have a chance," Monson said. "For a while, it was getting really depressing."
Last month, the state Agriculture Department finished its work on rules farmers may use to grow industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana that does not have the drug's hallucinogenic properties. The sturdy, fibrous plant is used to make an assortment of products, ranging from paper, rope and lotions to car panels, carpet backing and animal bedding.
Applicants must provide latitude and longitude coordinates for their proposed hemp fields, furnish fingerprints and pay at least $202 in fees, including $37 to cover the cost of criminal record checks.
Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still must give its permission before Monson, or anyone else, may grow industrial hemp.
"That is going to be a major hurdle," Johnson said.
Another impediment is the DEA's annual registration fee of $2,293, which is nonrefundable even if the agency does not grant permission to grow industrial hemp. Processing the paperwork for Monson's license should take about a month, Johnson said.
A DEA spokesman has said North Dakota applications to grow industrial hemp will be reviewed, and Johnson said North Dakota's rules were developed with the agency's concerns in mind. Law enforcement officials fear industrial hemp can shield illicit marijuana, although hemp supporters say the concern is unfounded.
North Dakota is one of seven states that have authorized industrial hemp farming. The others are Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia, according to Vote Hemp, an industrial hemp advocacy organization based in Bedford, Mass.
California lawmakers approved legislation last year that set out rules for industrial hemp production, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. The law asserted that the federal government lacked authority to regulate industrial hemp as a drug.
In 2005, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, introduced legislation to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in federal drug laws. It never came to a vote.
Monson farms near Osnabrock, a Cavalier County community in North Dakota's northeastern corner. He is the assistant Republican majority leader in the North Dakota House and is the school superintendent in Edinburg, which has about 140 students in grades kindergarten through 12.
In 1997, during his second session in the Legislature, Monson successfully pushed a bill to require North Dakota State University to study industrial hemp as an alternative crop for the state's farmers.
Canada made it legal for farmers to grow the crop in March 1998. Last year, Canadian farmers planted 48,060 acres of hemp, government statistics say. Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the provinces along North Dakota's northern border, were Canada's biggest hemp producers.
"I do know that industrial hemp grows really well 20 miles north of me," Monson said. "I don't see any reason why that wouldn't be a major crop for me, if this could go through."
Dude! Pass the Ganja!
That's more like it.
Well one farmer has some stones at least... I wish him luck.... Remember INDUSTRIAL HEMP has NO THC. It may be a good crop for him one day.
When FDR pushed through prohibition, they didn't want to put the prohibition enforcers out of work, so many went right into the DEA, BAFT or other new federal agencies. There is just something about socialists that doesn't mind putting thousands of people employed in the private sector out of work, but can't stand to put a relative handful of government people out of work.
Anyway, to make a long story short, hemp is a hearty plant and not easy to eradicate. Even when I was in high school in the 1970's there were constant reports of new discoveries between the railroad tracks near this town or ditch banks near that town. The kids generally managed to do the harvesting before the DEA teams could get there.
It made me appreciate not only how wonderously fertile the soil of the Red River Vally is, but also how wonderosly resilient plants in the hemp family are.
bump, I think military uniforms in hemp, USA made.
"Remember INDUSTRIAL HEMP has NO THC."
but if you're old enough to remember what "home-grown" meant way back when, that it what it is. Here is what the industrial hemp lobby has to say about it.....
1. Q: What is Industrial Hemp?
A: Industrial Hemp is a number of varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for agricultural and industrial purposes. They are grown for their seed and fiber content as well as the resulting byproducts such as oil, seed cake, hurds, etc. Industrial Hemp is characterized by being low in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and high in CBD (cannabidiol). THC is less than 1% and in Canada and Europe the current legal level for cultivation is 0.3%. The ratio of CBD to THC is greater than one.
2. Q: What is marijuana?
A: Marijuana is a preparation made from varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are intended for medical and recreational drug use. They are grown for their THC content, primarily in the flowering tops and to a lesser extent in the leaves. Cannabis sativa L. grown for marijuana is characterized by being high in THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and low in CBD (cannabidiol). The THC content is greater than 1%, usually 3% to 20%. The ratio of CBD to THC is less than one.
I'm sorry, but I still prefer cotton grown and harvested using numerous chemicals, including defoliants or a nice synthetic blend using a percentage of good old 100% petroleum.
Yep, I remember a few years ago a friend of my son's who lived in Oregon got mixed up with growing hemp. He related all the good that hemp can do for people. I think he just wanted legitimate access to continue his freewheeling pot days.
Just because a few dumbbells abuse a plant that looks like industrial hemp is no more reason to place draconian restriction on the cropt than is jailing every male between the ages of 15 and 30 who isn't gainfully employed or enrolled in education because this is the group which disproportionately commits crime.
And we're off, with the stupid pot bashing.
Nevermind that industrial hemp is nothing like marijuana. You'd have to smoke a telephone pole of it to get high, and you'd probably die first of excessive smoke inhalation.
Industrial hemp can do a lot of things for us. It's viable for fuel, clothing, and paper. It would really help the paper industry here in Wisconsin.
Hemp was grown around Champaign Illinois during WW II. The Students at the U Of IL found that there was a lot still growing wild there at the ends of fields. Big bust by DEA in the late 60's.
My question is, what in the Constitution gives the Feds authority to prohibit farming of this crop, provided the state has approved it?
Remember when General McAfferty (sp) was the drug czar under Clinton? He embargoed tons of bird seed from Canada because it contained sterilized marijuana seed, just has it had for decades.
Some guys can't past the word hemp.
If not there is always a ton to be made in ostrich farming. LOL
It still grows today in ditches all over western Illinois.
Ironically, widespread industrial hemp growing might make, in the long term, outdoor growing of recreational marijuana much more difficult.
For quality marijuana, keeping the female cannibis plants from getting pollinated is very important. Cannibis is a wind pollinated plant. If there are large fields of hemp growing everywhere any recreational plant outdoors could easily get pollinated by hemp pollen.
Future generations could also decline in quality for the same reason.
Is this going to be like bird flu and mutate to spread to humans?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus