Hemp, a non-psychoactive relative of marijuana, is illegal to cultivate throughout most of the Unites States, despite its tremendous versatility - including use as fuel, food, clothing and paper - and estimated market value of more than $150 million annually.
In the past decade, imported hemp products - such as seeds and oil - have become a popular ingredients in many natural and organic foods, snacks and dietary supplements. Proponents point to its high protein content - comparable to or better than meat or tofu - and the essential fatty acids in hemp oil.
"California farmers are missing out on a bumper crop that can be used to manufacture over 25,000 products," State Assemblyman, Mark Leno recently told the San Francisco Examiner.
Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network this Wednesday as we find out the facts on hemp, expose the myths and learn about the controversy.
This Week's Guests:
Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)|
In February, Leno introduced Assembly Bill 1147 that would allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp. By state law, farmers would be able to produce hemp for sale of seed, oil and fiber to manufacturers, and could sell and trade hemp seeds for growing hemp within the state of California.
Johanna Schultz Director of Communications, Hemp Industries Association|
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is at the forefront of the drive for fair and equal treatment of Industrial Hemp and the instigation of a level playing field on which to compete with other natural resources and synthetics. The HIA seeks changes in government policies to encourage global production of Hemp as a raw material for industry.
Ruth Shamai Owner, Ruth’s Hemp Foods|
Ruth was active in the lobby of leading environmentalists, agriculture experts and entrepreneurs that helped legalize industrial hemp in Canada. Impressed by the nutritional benefits of hemp, she went on to start Ruth’s Hemp Foods. Based in Toronto, Ruth’s offers a wide variety of hemp foods distributed throughout Canada and the United States.
David Bronner President, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps|
David, and his Escondido, CA based company have been deeply involved with the movement to legalize hemp growing in the United States. He is also chairman of the Hemp Industry Association's Food and Oil Committee.
Resources for Journalists:
Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.|
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