Hemp in Canada
The history of hemp cultivation in North America begins in Port-Royal, Acadia (present-day Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia), in 1606, when French botanist Louis Herbert planted the first crop on the Eastern shore. Hemp cultivation soon spread westward across the country, as burgeoning settlements experimented with harvesting and production. Hemp was one of Canada’s first agricultural exports when the fibre was sold to Britain and France for use in their navies. It was common practice for tracts of land to be issued to settlers in Canada on the provision that they grow hemp.
As the 20th Century approached, hemp cultivation was an established Canadian industry, with mills in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In the 1930’s, Mr. Howard Fraleigh of Forest, Ontario had developed a successful and profitable hemp processing business. Having designed and built specialized harvesting equipment, Mr. Fraleigh had a state-of-the-art fibre separation mill in full operation.
In April of 1938 the Federal Minster of Health, C.G. Power amended the Opium and Narcotics Control Act to classify all varieties of Cannabis as a regulated substance. It was the intention of the government to control the production of marijuana, a variety of Cannabis known to produce THC, the psychoactive ingredient. However, because hemp is also a variety of Cannabis, grown for the fibre and seeds it was also prohibited, even though it contained virtually no THC. The similar leaf shape for all varieties of Cannabis resulted in hemp suffering from a case of mistaken identity, as the government did not differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Thus the cultivation and processing of hemp ended in Canada. However a small acreage was grown during the Second World War near Ottawa and Manitoba for cordage and cloth. Some research was carried out in the 1950’s and 60’s to observe fibre content in the stalks and oil profile in the seeds. Mean while hemp cultivation continued throughout China, Europe and Russia.
Then in 1971 Dr. Ernie Small of Agriculture Canada Grew 350 different strains of Cannabis on the experimental farm in downtown Ottawa. Dr. Small found there were very different varieties of Cannabis, classifying them as fibre and narcotic types. The point of distinction was set by the level of THC in the leaves and flowers, and Dr, Small concluded that varieties containing less than 0.3% THC were suitable only for industrial applications such as fibre and seed.
In the spring of 1996 Geofrey G. Kime, President of Hempline Inc. appeared before a Senate committee to request that hemp fibre and stalks be removed from the definition of Cannabis as defined under Bill C-8: The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Senator Lorna Milne, a member of this committee was impressed by the presentation and worked to ensure the amendment was adopted. On June 21, 1996 Bill C-8 received Royal Assent by the Federal Government, and on May 14, 1997 Bill C-8 officially became law; with the result that hemp fibre and stalks were no longer regulated and the Minister of Health Canada now had the power to implement a commercial licensing system for hemp cultivation. On March 13, 1998 Health Canada implemented commercial licensing regulations, allowing Canadian farmers to grow hemp once again, a little over sixty years after they prohibited it.
HEMP AS A SOLUTION.
Credits: Jack Herer 2003
Hemp homes are cutting edge of green building
published: September 12th, 2010
author: John C. Fletcher
source: USA TODAY
Hemp is turning a new leaf. The plant fiber, used to make the sails that took Christopher Columbus’ ships to the New World, is now a building material.
In Asheville, N.C., a home built with thick hemp walls was completed this summer and two more are in the works.
Dozens of hemp homes have been built in Europe in the past two decades, but they’re new to the United States, says David Madera, co-founder of Hemp Technologies, a company that supplied the mixture of ground-up hemp stalks, lime and water.
The industrial hemp is imported because it cannot be grown legally in this country — it comes from the same plant as marijuana.
Its new use reflects an increasing effort to make U.S. homes not only energy-efficient but also healthier. Madera and other proponents say hemp-filled walls are non-toxic, mildew-resistant, pest-free and flame-resistant.
“There is a growing interest in less toxic building materials, says Peter Ashley, director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
“The potential health benefits are significant,” he says, citing a recent study of a Seattle public housing complex that saw residents’ health improve after their homes got a green makeover.
The U.S. government has not taken a “systemic approach” to studying chemicals in homes and instead addresses problems such as asbestos, lead, arsenic and formaldehyde only after people get sick, says Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, a private research group.
She says green building so far has focused mostly on the environment, not the health of the people inside. Ashley agrees that federal attention has been “sporadic,” but says an interagency group began meeting last year to tackle the issue more broadly. He says HUD is funding more research on the health and environmental benefits of eco-friendly homes.
Some green-rating programs, such as the one run by the private U.S. Green Building Council, give points for indoor air quality.
“We are taking the next step in green building,” says Anthony Brenner, a home designer with Push Design who created Asheville’s first hemp home. “We’re trying to develop a system that’s more health-based.”
Brenner says he’s been searching for non-toxic materials because he wants to build a home for his 9-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has a rare genetic disorder that makes her extremely sensitive to chemicals. “We have to keep her away from anything synthetic,” he says, or she’ll have seizures.
He says a hemp home can be affordable, even though importing hemp makes it more expensive than other building materials, because skilled labor is unnecessary and hemp is so strong that less lumber is needed.
The hemp mixture — typically four parts ground-up hemp to one part lime and one part water — is placed inside 2-foot-by-4-foot wall forms. Once it sets, the forms are removed. Although it hardens to a concrete-like form, wood framing is used for structural support.
“This is like a living, breathing wall,” Madera says. Hemp absorbs carbon dioxide and puts nitrogen into the soil, so it’s good for the environment, he says.
Alex Wilson, executive editor of Environmental Building News, says hemp can be grown with minimal use of chemicals and water. He says it has a midlevel insulating value (R-2 per inch) but is usually installed in a thick enough wall system to make it appropriate for all but the most severe climates.
The mixture, “Tradical Hemcrete,” has not previously been used in U.S. homes, but in 2008 it went into a community center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Badlands, S.D., as well as a small chapel and pottery studio near Houston, says Mario Machnicki, managing director of American Lime Technology, a Chicago company that imports hemp from the United Kingdom.
Asheville’s second hemp home will be finished in about six weeks, says builder Clarke Snell of the Nauhaus Institute, a non-profit group of designers, engineers, developers and others interested in sustainable urban living.
Snell says the home, which has 16-inch-thick walls, is airtight and energy-efficient. He expects it to meet rigorous Passive House Institute standards, which call for homes to use up to 90% less energy than regular ones.
“On the coldest day in winter, the body heat of 10 people should heat the home,” he says. “We’re basically building a European home.”
Snell says his group will own the 1,750-square-foot house, and its engineer will live there for a couple of years to monitor energy use.
He doesn’t know how much it will cost because, as a prototype, it was built with donations and volunteer labor.
The owners of the first hemp home say it cost $133 a square foot to build, not including land and excavation.
“That’s pretty remarkable” for a custom home in Asheville, which is a pricey area, says Karon Korp, a writer who moved into the house in July.
Korp says she and her husband, Russ Martin wanted primarily an energy-efficient home. They’re not particularly sensitive to chemicals, but they were drawn to Brenner because of his modern aesthetic and green building enthusiasm. She says they’re thrilled their house is made of a renewable, toxic-free material and hope it sets an example for the nation.
“Hemp could replace tobacco if it were legalized,” says Martin, Asheville’s GOP mayor from 1993 to 1997. He says some area tobacco farms have gone bust.
Martin says they have spent less than $100 a month so far to cool the home, which has 3,000 square feet plus a garage. It has 12″ thick walls, Energy Star appliances, dual-flush toilets, high-performance windows and LED lights. Korp says they might add a windmill, because the house sits atop a mountain.
They say they have fantastic views. “We seen the sun rise,” he says. She adds, “and the sun set.”
- Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor?August 12th, 2014
- Natural fibre insulation – benefiting the built and natural environmentAugust 31st, 2011
- The Kestrel is the World’s First Production-Ready Hemp CarFebruary 23rd, 2011
- Plain sailing for flax…February 22nd, 2011
- Hemp homes are cutting edge of green buildingSeptember 12th, 2010
Hemp: New Brunswick’s Crop of the 21st Century
New Brunswick can become a model for the 21st century, create a vast array of jobs in many sectors, and retain westward fleeing job-seekers by fully embracing hemp farming. Not only could hemp production keep workers in the province, it could also attract new industry and immigrants into the province.
Hemp is truly one of nature’s gifts to mankind, but no member of the plant kingdom has ever been so willfully and stubbornly misunderstood. It is generally assumed that hemp became collateral damage in the United States’ so-called “war on drugs.”
There is compelling evidence, however, that hemp was actually the primary target of the whole “Reefer Madness” hysteria. A number of major U.S. corporations, lumber and pulp barons, and chemical companies stood to lose lucrative market shares because the hemp plant is so useful and versatile. Hemp provides the raw material for bio-fuel, paper, and plastic alternatives, among its many uses. It is time to understand what we have lost, and will continue to lose, if we don’t realize the infinite benefits of hemp production.
Since the mid-1930s, about half the world’s forests have been cut to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most forests would likely still be standing, providing oxygen for the planet.
Hemp plants provide four times the paper fibre per acre per year than trees do, and can be re-planted yearly. Hemp is naturally resistant to insects and weeds and thrives in New Brunswick. Nearly half of the agricultural chemicals used by the U.S. are applied to cotton crops.
As people continue to become more ecologically aware and responsible, the demand for all types of organic products will increase. Hemp fibre is a naturally organic alternative to cotton. It is much more durable, wears longer, and is resistant to salt – which is why it has been traditionally used to make ropes and sails for ships for thousands of years. In fact, the word “canvas” comes from an Arabic word for hemp.
Henry Ford experimented with utilizing hemp as a bio-fuel source and as an ingredient in a composite material for automobile bodies. In 1941, the Ford Motor Company rolled out an experimental car that was made from hemp. Ford demonstrated this vehicle’s durability by beating on the fender with an axe. It bounced off and did not leave even a scratch. Imagine the benefits of a rust-proof, bio-degradable car that runs on hemp bio-fuel…. and where the planet would be today if this had become a reality 70 years ago! Also imagine that petro-chemical companies and many other major U.S. corporations still have a stake in preserving the status quo while they fill their coffers with money spent on over-priced gas, oil, chemicals, fertilizer and consumer goods that are petroleum based. The United States is the only industrialized nation that prohibits the growing of hemp.
In 1937, Popular Science magazine listed more than 25,000 potential uses for the hemp plant, and modern technology has increased this number. The market for organic food and personal care products has exploded. In addition to its many industrial uses, hemp also provides one of nature’s most perfect foods in its seed. It contains the essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 in the proper 3:1 ratio for human health, and provides superior anti-oxidant qualities. Hemp nuts are also one of the world’s richest sources of protein, second only to the soybean, and they taste great. Chefs all over the world are using hemp butter, nuts and oil in their kitchens.
Right now, in many N.B. stores, you can buy hemp foods and goods that were produced in other Canadian provinces. The Manitoba Harvest Company is a co-operative that is co-owned by more than 20 farming families. In Ontario, the Cool Hemp Company is producing ice cream and cookies made from hemp seed – desserts that are both good and good for you!
When you add up all of the environmental benefits, jobs, products and industry that would be created by hemp production, you have only a win/win situation for the province of New Brunswick.
There is a lingering reluctance to embrace hemp farming because of the current U.S. laws and attitude. But people should control their institutions rather than continue to be dominated by these human creations. At the Kyoto Summit, Al Gore used an apt hockey analogy when he appealed to Canada for environmental support. He suggested that we not look to where the United States has the puck now – but where the puck will ultimately be in the future.
News Hawk: PFlynn – http://www.420magazine.com/
Copyright: 2008 CanadaEast Interactive, Brunswick News Inc.
Hemp Can Save NB and the World
Marijuana is dangerous. But not to the human body or mind in any way, shape or form.
It is, however, a deadly threat to the corporate criminals and oil cartels who currently rule our world.
When corporate profit became the touchstone of civilization, the future could only be sold out.
And one of the biggest sell outs to ever be forced upon an unwitting public was the criminalization of hemp in 1937.
The hemp plant is a masterpiece of nature, truly a plant bestowed upon humanity by a wise and just universe. The hemp plant was revered by people for thousands of years.
But in a twisted perversion where public health and welfare, the future of humanity and the very planet itself mean nothing compared to immediate corporate profits hemp has been banned for 75 years and counting.
Food, fuel, fibre, paper, clothing, plastics, medicines, building materials….. The sheer scope of the thousands of natural products that can be made from hemp are hemp’s fatal flaw. So much value that the powers that be cannot allow this plant to be grown.
Everything petroleum can do, hemp can do better: Biodegradable plastics and bio-fuel are easily made from hemp.
Hemp was deliberately demonized and made illegal by a conspiracy between William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont Chemical Company in the mid 1930’s. Up until then most people had no clue what “marijuana” was, although hemp was a valuable cash crop for fibre.
Hearst was one of the richest men in America who owned vast tracts of forest he wanted to cut for pulp. He was also the owner of the largest newspaper chain in America. He used his papers to demonize hemp and scare the hell out of a naïve and gullible American public.
The DuPont Company had invented nylon and petroleum based plastics. No way did they want any competition to this industry.
Hemp clearly had to go, and through a campaign of lies and propaganda these corporate criminals succeeded in making the most useful plant on our planet illegal. And people still don’t get it even today!
Hemp has been used throughout the world since the beginning of time for just about everything mankind needed.
You can produce 4 times as much paper from an acre of hemp as you can from an acre of trees at one quarter of the cost, and you can grow another crop the next year.
An acre of pulp wood takes 25 or 30 years to re-grow.
Think of it! The pulp industry requires continual clear cutting of forests. The industry pours millions of gallons of pollutants into our New Brunswick waterways as the wood is processed.
Add to that the silt run off created by all the bare ground left from clear cut areas…. Causing the rivers to choke with silt and becoming a major factor in the disastrous flood in Perth-Andover last year.
Compare this industry, which also always needs government subsidies and bailouts to stay alive, to utilizing hemp for the pulp and paper industry.
A new crop each year, providing four times the cellulose of an acre of trees! As an added bonus that same crop is providing nutritious and tasty food as well as pulp!
It sounds like a no-brainer to me, but entrenched corporations and oil and energy companies are determined to continue to suck the life out of our planet by continuing their mad quest for yet more fossil fuel.
It will be a sad day for New Brunswick if these unimaginative and greedy men begin hydro-fracking for shale gas in earnest in our beautiful province.
Hemp requires no chemicals to grow, has very few natural enemies and grows in the widest variety of climates of any plant on our planet.
It is also the fastest growing plant on earth, growing 4 times faster than corn.
The seeds from the hemp plant provide the highest source of complete vegetable protein of any food
source on the planet.
One acre of hemp can provide enough seed to feed 12 people for a year!
Most of our larger grocery stores are now stocking hemp foods from farms in western provinces. Hemp Hearts, oil, butter, milk…. Why are we not producing these products in our own province?
It would provide far more jobs in all sectors than all the gas extraction plots and schemes on the planet, and be good for the environment!
Hemp has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and concentrated extracts of cannabis were one of the most widely used medicines in America for 150 years.
It is estimated that hemp would have at least 50,000 commercial uses if it were made legal today.
Sure, it’s legal to grow in Canada, but because of the influence and prejudice of those American bullies next door we have not fully embraced this crop.
Hearst with his yellow journalism tactics and the hysterical rhetoric of the anti-hemp corporations are still poisoning the public discourse on this subject.
Many people are still convinced that hemp was made illegal for the good of humanity!
(insert sound of sardonic & hollow laugh here)
There is still the persistent myth that cannabis is a so-called “gateway drug.”
The true gateway to drug abuse is poverty and despair. And even people with money can despair of our future and turn to drugs to escape.
A few years back when California first held a referendum vote to legalize cannabis the two biggest lobbyists against legalization were the liquor industry and illegal cannabis grow operations!!!
Ironic, don’t you think?
We are all also still saddled with the belief systems of our Puritan forefathers. This is that sad and destructive conviction that God loves us better when we suffer.
Two of my favourite quotes of all time poke fun at Puritans:
H.L. Mencken famously said: Puritanism…The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Thomas Babington MacMacauly perceptively wrote: The Puritan hated bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
We all need to step up to the plate, together, and demand that our government begin to work for us, the people, and our communities….not Big Oil, Big Pharma and Corporate Agriculture.
Hemp agriculture can and will remake our world.
ABOUT STEPHANIE KELLEY
Hello! My name is Stephanie Kelley. I’m originally from sunny Florida, but these days I live in a little village in rural New Brunswick, Canada where we have just two seasons…Winter & Blackfly! I write the Blackfly Gazette to amuse and entertain, but also to explore some of the issues and challenges facing us all these days, no matter where we live…from how to rebuild community and live sustainably and abundantly to turning my gimlet eye on the criminal insanity of our psychopathic governments and corporations. Thanks for dropping by!
Poem/Prose by Wil Liam
I am not ritch…
and I am not poor…
I am able, and reasonably young.
And I am debt free…
(except student loans….)
……..and …..( my membership as an American citizen, where I share the burden of 18 trillion dollars of hypothetical debt…)
but I don’t have any car payments, the van I’ve’ve had for 3 years cost me $350 with a little bit of continual work.
I don’t have to pay rent because I work for the landlord on the land that I live and and the work that I’m doing is improving the land upon which I live, trying to create a permaculture farm/ community/ land project….. …
and I don’t go to town very much.
I live in the redwoods and I’m pretty happy.
but every now and again…
I have to buy shoes or something… and so I have to go to a store…
well one thing I have to say, is that it like a lot of the stuff inside of most stores, is made by slave labor…
Modern day slaves.
or at least serfs. .
by the millions…they are virtually enslaved by the Chinese and other 2nd and 3rd world economic systems so that their government can purchase American debt…
so right now…
China and others enslaving their people to buy US debt, in the form of Bonds.
and the American Government is selling the future of it’s own people, so that future adult Americans will be enslaved to pay back “China” etc……
this is what happens,
when the governments of the world are run by lawyers and crooks…
they legalize the theft of the treasury.
And in our economic strata of first world nation status…
the good and obedient fat horses upon which the rich ride, are given a set level of disposable income as a reward for their servitude.
They are to use these tokens of entitlement, to fulfill all of their consumeristic needs… to achieve their supposed status…. all the while drunk on their continual wants, as they are lured by the lust for status…
And the “power’s that be” do not want any body to subvert the system of servitude.
success is taxed…
excessive richness is rewarded.
That is modern capitalism.
a desperate human steals a couple hundred dollars worth of something, can go to prison for a good bit… but a rich, greedy human can steal millions and billions of dollars from hundreds and thousands of people… and they can receive a fine that is paid for with the plunder of their previous conquest.
We do not live in a Democracy.
It is a mockery to assume that we do.
There is no justice, when injustice thrives.
but the people, all people, are all equal.
and if we stand up for ourselves and each other, together; then we can do a lot of good.
And that “goodness” will come very fast.
If we can all work together, a little bit… and stand together with your neighbor every so often…. reach across the aisle… and slowly soften all the borders…. and we take a few more vacations…closer to home… and go on long walks…and cook delicious food…and …
and live good lives with each other.
We can all be happy ..
I think even the rich people will be happier…
everyone deserves to be happy…everyone deserves to have enough food to eat and have a safe warm place to sleep…
and nobody deserves to have bombs dropped on them…
nobody deserves to live under harsh sanctions…
nobody deserves to be a refugee ping pong’ed around…
nobody deserves to be enslaved to pay the debt of a government…
Or to pay for past World Bank loans, that were stolen by corrupt dictators, that were put in by foriegn powers.
No one deserves to have their country subjugated where, to have their culture decimated.
Peace and happiness exist, they are in between the monetized moments.
Peace, Love and Freedom exist outside of the almighty dollar.
Money is meant to be a beautiful thing; to properly share and store and exchange the fruits of our labor.
But the government’s, and the ruling classes have conquered most all of the natural resources…they own the rivers, and they own the mountains…and they own the banks that own all of us.
Our money is not even our own money, it’s owned by the Federal Reserve, a private bank…
America is debt ridden…the only hope we have a paying it back is exploiting people and exploiting the ecosystems for natural resources…
The madness must stop.
The numbers are not real.
The real power is in the individual.
Together we can free ourselves.
or we can submit to the system.
but you can’t effectively stand up against the system, alone… you can only stand up against the system as a community, as a functioning economic unit, that supports each other and itself.
my answer to world peace is:
improve your own community…
but do it with real gusto and start today…
take down your backyard fences and start amazing gardens and mini parks…
work less, use less, spend less, waste less.
eat healthier!—–that would save so much money in healthcare… wow….
and it would greatly improve people’s quality of life and overall happiness.
End “planned obsolescence” – almost every consumer good is designed to break …. cars and electronics are especially designed to have a specific lifespan… I have a pair a Walkman ear phones from the e
80’s and the chords are still fine…but I went through a half a dozen $25 earbuds…where the cord start to fail in about 6 months….
stop hating other people so much…there are a few people in the world that we can hate…and they deserve our hate so much that we need to keep hate sacred and potent.
do not hate your neighbor,
do not hate your hater.
do not hate your rival labor
do not hate the clumsy waiter.
don’t worry about forgiving, just forget move on, deal with it enough to get it out of the way but do not dwell on it don’t give it that much energy
Dance…. that’s it … just dance.
Not a real dance, not like a specific dance not a good dance, not a pretty dance but dance….
dance to the beat of your own soul….dance alone in the moonlight..
dance in the silence…
dance to the beat of the crushing leaves beneath your feet…
Love often and love broadly, love deeply, and love truly…
Love does not have to be used sparingly to be potent.
fill your world with love…
imagine it as spray paint and tag everything, graffiti everything with invisible, spiritual love…
Bevauae if you do, everyone else can still see it…
make the world beautiful and others can feel it.
Help each other enjoy life…
do not detract from the joy of others…Help them because they will help you…and that’s all you can possibly ever get out of life…
that’s what money is supposed to be for…
to buy other people’s help…
Live how you wanna….
if you ain’t happy swimming against the current…maybe it’s time you switched streams…or switch horses…but don’t try and switch horses midstream…
because most everything in life is epically beautiful and wonderful….
If you let it…
do not dwell on the unfortunate.
Transcend the past…
We are perennial beings.
We flower every so often…
just keep watering the roots of your soul…
and life will once again surge through you….
when the season is right.
so plant the seeds…
and tend to the garden of your happiness…
and share your bounty.
Peace and Love