Collected, compiled, and collated by John E. Dvorak
Managing Editor, Hemp Magazine


Hempsters around the world received the following chilling e-mail from the Assistant Editor of Cannabis Canada on Tuesday, December 16, 1997:

As I write this it is about a quarter to four on Tuesday, and HempBC and the Cannabis Café are being raided by the police. The police may be on their way to my office at Cannabis Canada right now, and we are all scrambling to get organized and the sirens are coming now... Dan Loehndorf."

For the second time in two years, HempBC has been raided by police as they attempt to enforce the immoral prohibition of cannabis. Marc Emery, founder of HempBC, was arrested during the raid as was another hemp activist, David Malmo-Levine. Police confiscated over $400,000 in cannabis seeds, grow equipment, and paraphernalia. However, this did not prevent HempBC and the Cannabis Café from opening the following day.

Emery is creating a cannabis culture in Vancouver. In addition to operating HempBC and publishing Cannabis Canada magazine, Emery runs The Little Grow Shop and recently opened the Cannabis Café, which features hemp cuisine and vaporizers. Emery's efforts result in the employment of dozens (if not hundreds) of people.

Let the media and authorities know that you disagree with police tactics of stealing merchandise from tax paying citizens. Details of the bust (and other hemp news) is available on the HempBC website. [ Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen, 604-873-7621, HempBC, 604-681-4620, chaplain@hempbc.com, www.hempbc.com ]


Professor Owen H. Sercus, who taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology for 17 years and has been involved in the Textile Industry for 50 years, has moved to California and formed Sercus Design Group, Inc. The Sercus Design Group will specialize in developing and marketing textile and plastic products made from industrial hemp.

In an effort to increase Agri-Business opportunities for the American farmer, Professor Sercus will visit colleges across the nation to educate students, business organizations, and consumer groups about the positive aspects of cannabis hemp, "the new natural fiber for the 21st Century." [ The Sercus Design Group, Inc., 310-559-6246, fax: 310-559-0252 ]


Mari Kane, editor and publisher of HempWorld Magazine and the Hemp Pages, has announced a plan to raise funds for the Agricultural Hemp Association (AHA Voter). Former Colorado State Senator, Lloyd Casey, who heads up the Association, is in dire need of donations to fund AHA Voter's Lobbying and Education divisions. As such, Kane has announced that a percentage of advertising sales from the 1999-2000 edition of the Hemp Pages will be donated to AHA Voter. Mari hopes to be able to contribute a minimum of $1,000 to AHA Voter as a result of this effort. HempWorld will begin taking reservations for Hemp Pages 1999-2000 in January, 1998. Keep this in mind when you are considering whether or not to advertise in "The Hemp Industry Sourcebook".

Other companies are also encouraged to donate a percentage of their sales to the decriminalization effort. As Mari Kane notes, "our business depends on growth, and real growth will only come with decriminalization of the [cannabis sativa] plant." [ HempWorld/Hemp Pages, Mari Kane, 707-887-7508, mari@hempworld.com, www.hempworld.com ]


The muffled sound of applause you heard around Halloween was coming from the 500 children who received hemp gloves courtesy of Headcase. Mitch Cahn, founder of Headcase, donated the gloves to UNICEF after being inspired by gifts made by other philanthropists. While this gesture ensures that hundreds of children will have warm hands this winter, it is also sure to warm the cockles of hempster's hearts around the globe. WAY TO GO MITCH!! [ Mitch Cahn, 201-420-5900, Hemphats@aol.com ]


Hempseed.com is giving away free e-mail addresses in an effort to increase people's awareness of hemp. Since starting the promotion in October of 1997, Hempseed.com has given away over 25,000 free addresses. Hempseed.com vice president and webmaster David Unger points out that "every time (Hempseed.com) e-mail is sent, it sparks an awareness of hemp and elicits a reaction, whether it's negative or positive." In addition to free e-mail accounts, Hempseed.com's website has information on hemp companies, products, events, and news. Help Hempseed.com help the hemp industry by visiting their website or signing up for a free e-mail address. [ Hempseed.com, Dave Unger, 212-344-5907, webmaster@Hempseed.com, www.hempseed.com ]


Visitors to the 1997 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada were treated to some hands-on hemp education thanks to Hempola Inc, producers of edible hempseed oil and hemp based body care products. Hempola teamed up with a local landscape design company to create a display garden replete with hemp bails, sacks of hemp seeds, hemp mulch flooring, and a hempen clad scarecrow. Educational posters and pamphlets provided additional information about hemp's historic significance and modern day potential. Hempster's should consider organizing similar educational displays in their localities. [ Hempola Inc., Greg Herriott, 800-240-9215, hempola@hempola.com, www.hempola.com ]


People interested in selling a hemp based drink now have a choice name to choose from. Richard Kirschman has registered the CANNABEER name in America after a brief legal tussle with one of the nation's beer behemoths. Because Kirschman's plans to produce and market Cannabeer did not come to fruition, he is now willing to sell the rights to the Cannabeer name. [ Richard Kirschman, 415-868-1300, rfk@nbn.com ]


Many people do not realize that nematodes, which are small, parasitic worms, cause a considerable amount of damage to crops in Canada and the United States. Even fewer know that hemp, when planted in rotation with other crops, can substantially reduce nematode infestation. Documentation to this effect is now being collected in Canada. Jean-Marie Laprise, Director of Operations for Kenex Ltd. in Ontario, has realized an 80 percent reduction in the cyst nematode population in fields planted with hemp. Hemp's roots are not appetizing to many types of nematodes, leaving the pests with nothing to eat. [ Kenex Ltd., Jean-Marie Laprise, 519-352-2968, laprise@kent.net, www.kenex.com ]


Metropolitan Milwaukee's 2nd largest newspaper, the Shepherd Express, reported that on November 12, 1997, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) intercepted a UPS package containing hemp seed oil, hemp cookies, hemp flour, and a 50 pound bag of sterilized hemp seeds. The shipment was being sent from One Brown Mouse Heavenly Hemp Foods in Nederland, Colorado to Hempen Goods in Madison, Wisconsin. The MPD will not release the hemp seeds because they tested positive for THC residue. Sterilized hemp seeds are legal under both state and federal law. Even a senior investigator with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) testified in 1991 that "the DEA does not consider sterile marijuana sold as birdfeed to be a controlled substance." Similarly, a Food and Drug Administration spokesperson stated in 1996 that "if the hemp seed is heat-treated there is no active ingredient in it and yes, it may be used in food. It's as harmless as a poppy seed."

One Brown Mouse is considering filing a lawsuit against the (MPD) unless the entire shipment is released. MPD Lieutenant Edward Librecht and police spokesperson Lieutenant Anna Ruvinski have steadfastly refused to comment on this bird brained scheme to intimidate, harass, and steal from legitimate hemp companies. The entire article can be found at the Media Awareness Project's website. [ www.mapinc.org, www.shepherd-express.com ]


Switzerland's SDA news agency reported in December, 1997, that the country's highest court had ruled that growing hallucinogenic plants to make beer or other legal products cannot be prosecuted under current drug laws. The ruling came a year after several tons of Indian hemp had been confiscated from a commune in Valais. The commune contended that it was only filling industrial orders, including one for 1,100 pounds of dried hemp blossoms for a brewery that specializes in hemp beer. The court ruled that authorities should have considered that the blossoms could be used to make an entirely legal product before interceding.


New Hampshire State Representative Timothy N. Robertson (D-Keene) is sponsoring a bill to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the "Live Free or Die" state. New Hampshire's Agriculture Commissioner and the Agriculture Committee of the state's lower house are both enthusiastic about re-introducing hemp into New Hampshire's depressed farming economy. Area hemp stores are also helping with the lobbying effort by providing hempformation to legislators and other interested parties.

The DEA vehemently opposes letting people grow hemp. ``The cultivation of the marijuana plant exclusively for commercial, industrial purposes has many associated risks relating to diversion into the illicit drug traffic,'' said Gwen Phillips, a spokeswoman for DEA. However, Robertson contends that his bill has enough safeguards to prevent abuse. It only allows for plants with 1% or less of marijuana's active ingredient (THC). Seeds would have to be obtained through the state Department of Agriculture and hemp farmers would have to be licensed. [ TIMOTHY N. ROBERTSON, 603-352-7006 ]


Two Vermont Senators have filed a draft bill in the state capitol to provide for the licensing of farmers interested in growing industrial hemp. The bill will be introduced when legislators reconvene in January, 1998. The purpose of the bill is to "permit the development in Vermont of an industrial hemp industry."

The co-sponsors of the Senate bill are Republican Hull P. Maynard and Democrat Elizabeth Ready. The bill is modeled after the House version which initially passed both branches of the state congress in 1996. Unfortunately, the original bill was amended to be for "research only" before its final passage into law in May, 1996.

Two years of research by the University of Vermont has shown widespread support for hemp farming across the state. The researchers are prepared to offer testimony in support of a Vermont hemp industry, based on their findings. [ Hull P. Maynard, 802-773-3000, Hull@sover.net, Elizabeth M. Ready, 802-453-2899, eready@leg.state.vt.us ]


Frederick Brewing Co. (NASDAQ: BLUE) has introduced Hempen Gold™, a cream ale brewed with hemp seeds. It is the brewery's first line extension of their popular Hempen Ale™. The original Hempen Ale was awarded a Bronze medal for brewing excellence in the Herb/Spice category at the 16th Annual Great American Beer Festival, the nation's largest and most prestigious beer event.

Like, Hempen Ale, Hempen Gold is also brewed with hemp seeds, but is lighter in taste, body and color. "Hempen Gold is smooth and mild - very, very drinkable," comments Steve Nordahl, FBC's VP of Brewing Operations and originator of Hempen Ale.

Hempen Gold will be immediately available to distributors in 24 states and is expected to receive a reception similar to that of Hempen Ale, which was first released in May of 1997. "Sales in existing Hempen Ale markets are holding steady at an extraordinary 65% of the original shipments," says Marjorie A. McGinnis, President of FBC.[ Jonathan Gambill, Brewer/Marketing, 301-694-7899 x122, jonathan@fred.net ]


Former CIA Chief R. James Woolsey recently told a Senate Agriculture Committee that America should promote the use of alternative fuels made switchgrass and sugar cane. This would reduce America's dependence on oil from the Middle East and could earn American farmers up to $12 billion dollars. Woolsey did not specifically mention hemp as a source of alternative fuel, although it would be an excellent option. [ www.mapinc.org/drugnews ]


Associated press reported on November 28, 1997, that 78 year old inventor Louis Wichinsky was lobbying for hemp recently by driving a hemp fueled car around the New York state capitol grounds. Bagel Lou, whose invention of a high speed bagel machine earned him his nickname, claims that his 1979 VW Rabbit get 42 miles a gallon and has a cruising speed of 70 miles per hour. Wichinsky correctly believes that using hemp and vegetable oils for fuel can decrease America's dependence on fossil fuels. He is trying to convince automotive industry officials, including former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iaccoca, to consider this green alternative.