Consumer Textiles

Picture 22November 16, 2009 – Slinky, soft bamboo fabric has made its way into my wardrobe in the form of a number of buttery shirts and dresses. When I came across the eco-label Viridis Luxe, it wasn’t Uma Thurman and Laura Dern’s patronage of the brand that attracted me. It was the clothes’ luxurious feel and comfortable styling.Picture 23

Indeed, bamboo has had the most success among all the new “eco-textiles” on store shelves—fabric billed as environmentally friendly and made from materials such as soybeans, corn, milk, seaweed and recycled plastic. Bamboo shows up in clothes sold in Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as sheets sold at Target, and it bears such deluxe labels as Ermenegildo Zegna, Rag & Bone and Ralph Lauren, as well as more eco-focused brands. Because it is so exotically soft, bamboo is often marketed alongside luxury fibers like silk and cashmere.

Bamboo’s story sounds clear and appealing: like hemp, the plant grows quickly Picture 24without the irrigation, pesticides or fertilizer often used to grow cotton. It’s often sold as “biodegradable,” and the plant’s antimicrobial properties have been used to market athletic clothes made from the fiber. “People are switching from cotton to bamboo,” says Aarti Doshi, regional manager for bamboo-fabric distributor Doshi Group, based in Mumbai, India.

When I looked below the surface, though, I found that bamboo fabric is less “eco” and “sustainable” than it seems. The bamboo used in textiles has to be heavily manipulated to go from stem to store. To create fabric, it’s chopped up and dissolved in toxic solvents—the same process that recycles wood scraps into viscose or rayon. Indeed, bamboo fabric technically is rayon.

The Federal Trade Commission sued four small bamboo-clothing manufacturers in August, citing them for false labeling, among other concerns, under the 1958 Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. The companies had used language such as “natural,” “biodegradable,” and “antimicrobial.” But bamboo fabric isn’t natural, the FTC said, since it’s a textile developed by chemists. The agency also said the biodegradable and antimicrobial qualities of the plant don’t survive the manufacturing process.

In a bulletin titled “Have You Been Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics?” the FTC said that bamboo fabrics “are made using toxic chemicals in a process that releases pollutants into the air.”

The FTC’s four cases are close to being settled without penalties, but with the requirement that fabric be labeled as viscose or rayon, and without the claims about biodegradability and antimicrobial properties, says FTC staff attorney Korin Ewing.

Of course, rayon doesn’t have the same all-natural ring as bamboo. Salvatore Giardina, a designer and adjunct professor in textile development and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, says he works with hemp and linen but stopped using bamboo several years ago after a manufacturer told him it should be labeled as viscose. “I manufacture a very high-end product—there’s no way I can put on my label 100% viscose,” he says.

Bonnie Siefers, founder and designer of Jonäno, one of the apparel makers sued by the FTC, says she has stopped marketing her bamboo line as biodegradable or antimicrobial. She is also working with newer fabrics made from corn sugars—which technically make something like polyester, but without the petroleum base.

But a quick search on the Web shows hundreds of apparel makers still market bamboo fabrics as eco-friendly. Ms. Ewing notes they probably have good intentions. “We have to be sure that sellers do their homework,” she says. Most bamboo is grown in China, where it’s harder for U.S designers to monitor suppliers.

Of course, bamboo doesn’t have to be processed heavily—witness the many home items, from furniture to flooring, on the market—to be used in products.

But some wearers have other gripes about bamboo. Mr. Giardina, the FIT professor, says he found that bamboo fabric is unstable and likely to stretch out of shape in damp weather. Uniform Knitters Ltd., a Hong Kong apparel manufacturer, abandoned bamboo fabrics because they tend to shrink and have odd variances in color, according to a company spokeswoman.
Picture 25
My bamboo clothes also proved somewhat unstable. After a few washes, tiny holes began to appear randomly in my new bamboo wardrobe. Hala Bahmet, the designer of Viridis Luxe, says the holes were the fault of too-thin yarn.

“Brands—us included—cranked out these delectable, lightweight, creamy garments that don’t have the durability,” she says. She now adds organic cotton to her clothes to improve durability, and she labels them “viscose from bamboo.” She has had better success mixing hemp and cashmere in her sweaters, which are gorgeous.

Ms. Bahmet says she hopes the FTC concerns lead to research on better bamboo production, because it doesn’t involve diverting an important food source such as corn to fabric production. She is optimistic that the FTC action will encourage scientists to research truly eco-friendly production methods for bamboo.

“Bamboo is just in its infancy as a fiber,” she says. “It’s not even a teenager yet.” Source.


MURRAY, KY (wkms) – Not so many years ago in the United States, the hemp plant was 3221039widely grown for its fiber and seed. But hemp has fallen out of favor in the United States, partly due to its close relation to marijuana. Cultivating either is illegal, although that may change. Kentucky, once one of the leading hemp producers in the nations, is looking to revive the industry.

Shirts, bags, jewelry, and twine are among the hemp merchandise that Murray retail store owner Valerie Hancock sells. “I don’t pick things because they’re hemp, but I know that I have customers that come in who look specifically for hemp items or items that do contain hemp.”

Hancock says the hemp for her products is cultivated and refined overseas, in countries like Turkey and Tibet. However, legislation headed for the 2010 Kentucky General Assembly would allow Hancock to buy her hemp from regional farmers. Senator Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville is sponsoring a measure to legalize industrial hemp. Pendleton has backed the bill before, but he says this time is different.

“Now that the federal government is saying we’re going to give it back to the states; if they want to legalize it and be able to grow it, that’s up to them.’ And that’s why I got excited about it, and I think honestly that’s the reason you’re seeing this thing’s catching on now.”

Pendleton expects the Obama administration to formally announce in November or December that it will not interfere with a state’s desire to legalize hemp. Pendleton believes Kentucky would greatly benefit from hemp production. Advocates for the plant point to its many uses over 25,000 to date according to information from to the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Those uses include cosmetics, car door panels, sun tan lotion and pressboard. As the Commonwealth focuses on a renewable energy plan, Pendleton says he’s become interested in hemp’s use as a bio-fuel.

“You make more bio-diesel or ethanol from an acre of hemp than you can from an acre of corn.”

In the past, Pendleton says he’s heard outcry from law enforcement at the proposition of legalizing hemp, but not so this time.

“But I think they’re understanding more. Now the industrial hemp doesn’t have the THC that the smoking kind has.”

Hemp leaves contain less than one percent of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, while marijuana leaves contain three to twenty percent THC. But not so fast, says Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper John Hawkins. He says the KSP still very much opposes industrial hemp. Hawkins says it and marijuana are the same species, cannabis sativa.

“It’s very difficult for us to determine by sight which one is hemp and which one is marijuana. So from an eradication standpoint it would make our job much more difficult.”

Also Hawkins says the results of cross pollination between hemp and marijuana aren’t known.

“You may get a lower THC content in marijuana, but you also may get a higher content with the hemp plant.”

Senator Pendleton says this wouldn’t be an issue because illegal drug growers wouldn’t want to take the risk of diluting their crop. According to hemp farmers, their plant is usually harvested before the buds that contain THC develop. Farmers also plant hemp close together, further distinguishing it from marijuana, where plots are spread out.

Even though the organization opposes industrial hemp, Hawkins says the KSP won’t move to block the measure.

“We just don’t do that. If the legislature requests information from the state police, we’ll provide that.”

Pendleton believes Kentucky stands poised on the frontlines of hemp production, with a growing season twice as long as Canada’s, the state’s potential rival to the north. They’ve been cultivating hemp for over a decade. Other states too, including North Dakota and Maine, are working toward their own hemp infrastructures. In Kentucky, Pendleton says the hemp issue is win-win.

“I think with the way the economy is now, the agriculture community is looking for another crop. We’re looking at biomass as to have an alternative there to corn. And then people are looking at number of people that’s laid off; this will create jobs to get factories to come here to make things out of the product.”

The 2010 General Assembly is still months ahead and there’s no way to know for sure what greeting the hemp bill will receive in the legislature. But if Pendleton and his supporters are correct, this could be one seed that doesn’t die on the Senate floor. By Angela Hatton. Source.

October 20, 2009 – Over 30 countries around the world grow industrial hemp, including bigW3558-LRG players like China and France. Multipurpose and versatile – hemp makes its way into everything from ice cream to paint to clothing – hemp could be called the wonder resource. In North America alone, the hemp industry accounts for over $360 million annually, and yet the U.S. has yet to make its way onto the list of agriculturally and economically savvy countries that are reaping the benefits of cultivating the crop.

Cultivating industrial hemp isn’t illegal in the U.S., but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) strictly regulates it, and obtaining a permit to grow it is practically impossible. In fact, the “DEA ensures that industrial hemp is in the same class as marijuana,” says Wayne Hauge, a farmer and industrial hemp activist from North Dakota. This drug taboo has made it difficult to pass legislation that would protect farmers and encourage them to grow industrial hemp. From an agricultural perspective, harvesting industrial hemp makes sense; it’s a great rotational crop that requires little or no chemicals, and in an economic landscape where many farmers are suffering, wouldn’t it be advantageous to allow them to grow a crop proven to be economically viable?

But it all comes back to a drug myth that incorrectly associates hemp with marijuana. On October 13, 2009, in a symbolic gesture to quell this myth, a group of farmers and hemp industry advocates took to the lawn of the DEA headquarters, planting industrial hemp seeds with specially made, chrome-plated shovels, stamped with the phrase “Reefer Madness Will Be Buried.” The result? They were all arrested for trespassing and are now awaiting hearings. But their arrest managed to create some significant exposure for the issue.

Contrary to common perceptions, legalizing industrial hemp production is not a fringe issue supported only by a handful of bong-ripping stoners. Many of Tuesday’s protesters were big names in the hemp industry including Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps President David Bronner and Founder of Livity Outernational Hemp Clothing, Isaac Nichelson. “We already have public support [for the issue],” says Adam Eidinger, Communications Director for Vote Hemp and one of Tuesday’s arrestees. Vote Hemp is currently supporting a bill in Congress, H.R. 1866, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and permit states to cultivate non-drug industrial hemp under state industrial hemp programs. “We’re hoping that by doing civil disobedience we’ll get some momentum in Congress,” says Eidinger.

In addition to activists, entrepreneurs across the world are changing the attitude towards industrial hemp. Ken Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies, is working to ensure that industrial hemp is seen as a lucrative, viable resource that could change large industries, like textiles and paper, as we know them. NAT, a company operated out of Portland, Oregon, with its Crailar Fiber Technology, an enzyme treatment that makes hemp as soft as cotton, recently teamed up with industry giants Hanes and Georgia Pacific. But what is a pair of hemp underwear going to do to change the market? Actually, Hanesbrands Inc. happens to be among the world’s largest consumer apparel brands with $4.2 billion in sales last year. Think of all the cotton t-shirts that translates into. Switching the traditional material out for an equally soft hemp fiber gives the company the potential to exponentially expand the market for hemp textiles.

Public support for industrial hemp cultivation in the U.S. may be slowly growing, but Barker believes it’s up to business to be the driving force behind change. “That’s why we think it’s critical to build these relationships with global industry leaders in these categories and then legislation has no option but to follow as a result,” says Barker.

Ultimately the question of whether or not to reduce restrictions on industrial hemp cultivation comes down to one of national interest. Nichelson points out that even his company, Livity, small if compared to other large apparel brands, was responsible for importing $1.5 million in hemp products from China last year. Imagine if that money went directly into the U.S. economy. Hans Fastre, CEO of Living Harvest Foods, the number one hemp foods company in the U.S. agrees. Living Harvest is also dependent on markets outside of the US, and plans to import over $2 million worth of hemp seeds next year to make their products. “If American farmers are able to grow hemp, we’ll be able to better supply U.S. consumers with more affordable hemp foods, from locally grown hemp seeds, while directly supporting American farmers.” More money for the American economy? Maybe it’s about time we get over our baseless drug hang-ups and acknowledge that industrial hemp is exactly what we need to move forward. By Anna Brones. Source.

October 3, 2009 – by Hana Haatainen Caye – Do you know what happens when you smoke hemp? Not a whole lot. You may end up with a cough or a headache, but you certainly won’t end up with a high. Surprised? Most people are hempbecause they mistakenly think hemp is the same thing as marijuana. It’s not; even though they are both members of the plant species cannabis sativa and bear an uncanny resemblance. Actually, the psychoactive properties in marijuana come from the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in the flower of the plant. While the THC values in marijuana are about 15% – 20%, they’re only standardized at about 0.3% in industrial hemp.

So what’s all the hype with hemp? It’s actually an eco-friendly renewable resource that is once again warranting attention in the United States (although it’s not legal to commercially grow here). Hemp is an excellent alternative to cotton when it comes to clothing, as hemp is more resilient and water-resistant, offers better breathe-ability, and is, quite simply, softer and warmer. With the look of linen and the feel of flannel, it’s no wonder clothing made of hemp is gaining in popularity.

But clothing isn’t the only thing hemp is used for. Consider these facts:

* When used for building material, hemp is known to be better than wood in terms of quality and strength, as well as being less expensive
* Paper made from hemp can be recycled up to 7 times, versus only 4 times for paper made from wood pulp
* Hemp has 10 times less toxicity than salt and is as biodegradable as sugar
* When used to make bio-diesel fuel, it emits 80% less carbon dioxide and close to 100% less sulfur dioxide
* It boasts a production rate of up to 10 tons per acre every 4 months
* It matures in about 100 days versus the 50 – 100 years for a tree to mature
* Hemp crops are heat, cold, mildew, pest, light, drought and rot resistant
* There are far less chemicals used to produce fabric made of hemp than of cotton and other fibers
* The woody stalks, or hurds, of the hemp plant are used for a variety of products, including: paper, plastics, animal bedding and more efficient and cleaner burning fuels, such as ethanol and methane
* The plant fibers are perfect for clothing, canvas, paper, textiles and rope, as well as replacements for heavier toxic fibers and building materials generally made with recycled plastic and fiber

One of the most beneficial parts of the hemp plant comes from the seed which contains many nutrients for both human and animal consumption. The hemp seed consists of

* Calcium
* Magnesium
* Phosphorus
* Potassium
* Vitamin A
* Protein (25%)
* Insoluble fiber (15%)
* Carbohydrates (30%)

It also is the absolute best vegetable source of essential fatty acids, with 55% Omega 3 linoleic acid and 25% Omega 6 linoleic acid, as well as gama linoleic acid.

Hemp seeds can be used in baking or cooking, crushed or whole. Hempseed oil is the principle product derived from the seed and has many uses from nutrition to cosmetics to paints and varnishes.

The multiple uses of the hemp plant, coupled with its eco-friendly properties, makes it the perfect crop choice for farmers across America. So why are we not seeing this invaluable plant being harvested from coast to coast?

Well, not to sound cynical, but you’d have to ask a politician about this. After all, it’s the powers-that-be that enforce the law that makes industrial hemp production in the U.S. illegal. But it wasn’t always this way.

Up until 1883, nearly 90% of all paper in this country was made with hemp rather than wood pulp. Four million pounds of hemp seed was sold in the States in 1937, and up until that year, almost 90% of all rope and twine was manufactured from the hemp plant. Then there’s the car Henry Ford built in 1941, made from a hemp and wheat straw plastic. However, the popularity of hemp and its abundance seemed to be cutting into the potential profits of men like William Randolph Hearst and Pierre DuPont, who collaborated and succeeded in making hemp an illegal crop in the U.S. in 1937. What did they have to gain? Well, Hearst held interests in multiple lumber mills and personally owned huge forests. DuPont used petroleum to manufacture synthetic fuels and fibers, such as rayon, nylon and a variety of plastics. The versatility of hemp wasn’t welcome in their world.

Seventy-plus years later, what have we learned? Well, we’ve experienced an energy crisis, polluted our air and waterways, found that chemicals in synthetics can be a danger to our health, endangered our wildlife species with the destruction of the forests, created holes in our ozone layer, etc., etc.

Could this have been avoided? Possibly. Researchers estimate the if just 6% of the continental United States would be planted with hemp crops, this would provide for ALL our national energy needs. Is this factual? I don’t know. But it certainly should be worth investigating. So why is our government sitting on its hands on this one? Is it that there are too many Hearsts and DuPonts out there blocking the way for real change?

I don’t know about you, but this makes me angry. When I think about the possibility that we could have fuel with far less toxic emissions, affordable clothing that wouldn’t be chemically treated, healthy alternative sources of essential fatty acids, etc. I just want to schedule a meeting with the higher ups and ask them why it isn’t happening. They talk the talk of independence from foreign oil, but when given a sensible alternative, they turn a deaf ear. Angry…you bet I am. And frustrated with the stupidity and ignorance of people who continue to think it should be illegal, because they refuse to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Source.

September 23, 2009 – Anyone who believes that the hemp industry is best left to the half-baked stoners of the world should spend a few hours talking textiles with Ken Barker. Five minutes intorhds20-100 the conversation it becomes clear that this guy is onto something big, and he knows exactly what he is doing.

Barker recently served as head of apparel at Adidas North America in Portland. Before that he held executive positions with Adidas and Levi Strauss in Canada. He knows how hard it is for apparel companies to meet the rising demand for clothing from earth-friendly sources. When he was with Adidas he entertained proposals to make fabric from soy, bamboo, even seaweed. None of them made as much sense as hemp, the plant that once served as the backbone of U.S. industry before it was banned in the 1930s.

Barker and another former Adidas executive, David Howitt (a brain behind the success of Oregon Chai), run an investment firm in Northwest Portland called the Meriwether Group. They have two hemp companies in their portfolio. Living Harvest, which makes hemp milk, is one of the fastest growing companies in Oregon. Naturally Advanced Technologies, the company Barker has run since 2006, recently raised more than $900,000 and plans to get its product to market within six months.

You know you’re talking to an entrepreneur when you ask how close they got to running out of money and you get a grin and a nod. “We took it down to under $200,000 just 30 days ago,” says Barker. “But once we were able to announce that we had some global players signed on as partners, we went out and raised a quick million dollars. That’s enough to take it to commercial production.”

NAT’s partnerships with the decidedly non-hippy powerhouses Hanes and Georgia Pacific offer hints about the company’s plans. The goal is the no-nonsense, low-cost, mass production of industrial hemp, initially for the apparel and pulp industries and eventually for natural plastics and biofuels. The company has trademarked a fiber technology called Crailar that Barker hopes to build into the next big apparel ingredient in the tradition of Lycra and Gore-Tex, but plant-based and organic.

The idea isn’t to replace the mountains of petroleum-based polyester used by Nike and Adidas, or the fields of pesticide-covered cotton gobbled up by Hanes and Levi Strauss, but rather to introduce Crailar into the existing system of textile manufacturing, as an option for manufacturers interested in going green. Thus the partnership with Hanes and textile researchers at North Carolina State.

The same general principle applies to the pulp industry, which is in deep trouble these days and could use some fresh ideas. Think paper towels and napkins without the stumps. The fact that Georgia Pacific has signed on suggests that the potential is there.

Barker calls hemp a “super-crop.” There is no disputing that hemp is a proven performer that grows like a weed without pesticides. It is also illegal, at the federal level, although Oregon recently became the seventh state to vote to legalize it at the statewide level. Barker argues that harvesting hemp locally would make sense, but in the meantime he says it is easy to import from Canada.

The potential for hemp has been there for decades — make that centuries. What has been missing in modern times (in addition to intelligent federal policy) is a team with the experience and expertise to take hemp production to the next competitive level. Barker and his partners could end up doing just that. If his plans come to fruition, they could breathe new life into the nation’s suffering pulp and textiles industries and offer a new option in the search for viable biofuels. All of which would build nicely on Oregon’s strengths in the apparel industry and in the business of going green. By Ben Jacklet. Source.

September 16, 2009 – Q: We wear a lot of cotton clothing, and someone told us that cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides while it is growing. Is this true and can the cotton clothing hold the pesticides? Isstop_the_spray_t_shirt_customized-p235895514189925455oqcw_400 there organic cotton?

A: According to a 2007 report on deadly chemicals in cotton, compiled by the Environmental Justice Foundation and Pesticide Action Network, cotton is the world’s most important nonfood agricultural commodity, yet it accounts for 16 percent of global insecticide releases – more than any other single crop.

Many of the pesticides used on cotton have been implicated in human cancer, water contamination, soil degradations and the killing off of various animals. In 1991, a train loaded with Metan sodium, which is used as a soil sterilant before planting cotton, derailed and spilled its contents into the Sacramento River, resulting in the death of every living organism in the river for 40 miles. A few years later heavy rains washed the chemical Endosulfan from cotton fields and into Big Nance Creek in Alabama and killed almost a quarter of a million fish.

On the other hand, there is a product that is much more efficient and much more valuable than cotton. That product is industrial hemp: A variety of Cannabis sativa, a tall annual herb of the mulberry family, native to Asia. Industrial hemp is not marijuana (Cannabis indica), as they are two different species of plants.

Some folks would like us to believe that growing any hemp is comparable to growing marijuana. This is nonsense.

Switching to hemp instead of cotton would result in the use of less pesticide than is currently being applied to our environment. Cotton growing is probably the largest polluter on the planet in terms of releasing pesticides into our environment. The chemicals not only target insects, but go into the groundwater and affect nontarget organisms as well, including humans. Hemp, on the other hand, has long been considered a weed, but it does not require pesticides to grow.

Another option is organically grown cotton. No pesticides, fertilizers or defoliants are used in growing organic cotton. Organic cotton can also be bred in different colors to eliminate the need for dye. It comes in a range of earth tones, such as rust, cream, browns and greens.

Chemically dependent cotton is no longer necessary, and we should seriously look into increasing our yield of organic cotton and using industrial hemp. By Richard Fagerlund. Source.

By continuing to treat the harmless plant as a drug, the United States has handed over the profitable market to other nations.hemp-nettle-basketsm

August 9, 2009 – For reasons I don’t fully understand, Americans seem to have lost the common sense that has always been a hallmark of our culture. Once again, we seem to be routinely shooting ourselves in the foot by adopting public policies that run counter to our own best interests. A good example is outlawing the use of hemp, one of the most beneficial crops in the history of the world, by burdening it with unnecessary and restrictive regulation in the name of fighting the so-called war on drugs.

Hemp is a harmless plant that is the source of an almost endless list of benefits. Wikipedia notes that it can be used in everything from food products to clothes as well as having multiple industrial or commercial uses, such as “paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel.”

China, France and Canada are all major producers of hemp and, although more hemp is exported to the United States than to any other country, our government generally does not distinguish between marijuana and a type of hemp that is used only for industrial and commercial purposes.

The North American Industrial Hemp Council says, “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies all C. sativa varieties (of hemp) as ‘marijuana.’ While it is theoretically possible to get permission from the government to grow hemp, DEA would require that the field be secured by a fence, razor wire, dogs, guards and lights, making it cost-prohibitive.”

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 “placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp … (and) the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as its successor, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, does to this day.” As Groucho Marx famously quipped, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.”

Other facts about hemp offered by NAIHC include:

» “Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food.”

» “Much of the bird seed sold in the United States has hemp seed (it’s sterilized before importation), the hulls of which contain about 25 percent protein.”

» “Rudolf Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil.”

» “Construction products such as medium-density fiber board, oriented strand board and even beams, studs and posts could be made out of hemp. Because of hemp’s long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood.”

» “More than 25,000 products can be made from hemp.”

» “To receive a standard psychoactive dose (of hemp) would require a person to power-smoke 10 to 12 hemp cigarettes over an extremely short period of time. The large volume and high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be almost impossible for a person to withstand.”

» “Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton.”

» “Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics.”

» “Hemp can be made into a variety of fabrics, including linen quality.”

» “Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.”

» “Hemp can yield 3 to 8 tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an average forest can yield.”

The bottom line is that by treating hemp as a drug, the United States has effectively shut down one of the most profitable and useful crops in history and has once again essentially abandoned the market to other nations that have a more realistic attitude.

We are preventing our farmers from growing a crop that has almost unlimited uses. It’s cheap and easy to plant and cultivate, and could potentially rejuvenate the small farming industry in the United States. While spending billions of dollars in what has been an almost fruitless effort to keep small farmers on the farm, we also have been unwilling to simply let them do it for themselves by allowing them to cultivate perhaps the best cash crop they could grow.

By stubbornly refusing to change or adapt our thinking, we are once again preventing one of our own industries from producing an important product and leaving a major market to our competition. By Harris R. Sherline. Source.

Please also see:
Can Hemp Products Save the World?

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