Here is the follow-up column:
Please scroll below for commentaries regarding hemp as featured in these publications:
Industrial hemp, a crop that’s grown for food and fiber, could be bountiful in the Bighorn Basin, near Torrington and possibly other parts of the state, according to a state
TRIB.COM|BY LAURA HANCOCK 307-266-0581, LAURA.HANCOCK@TRIB.COM
Drug War Mess: My column of April 14 & 16
Colorado’s hemp producers see further development
My column in Casper Star Tribune of April 9, 2016: “Hep producers see promising future.” Wyoming Tribune Eagle of April 7: “Hemp oil [sic] is taking off.”
I recently visited a Colorado company that’s been on my radar for some time. CBDRx manufactures capsules of CBD in health-enhancing combinations of coconut oil and cannabinoids extracted from hemp.
CBD has shown remarkable results in children with epilepsy—so much so, the Colorado law authorizing its use was named Charlotte’s Web after a very young patient. Likewise, Utah’s Charlie’s Law was named after a girl who died just weeks prior to the state’s CBD legalization. Wyoming’s legislature followed the example of these two states, without, however, legalizing hemp agriculture, as did our two neighbors.
My youngest son contends with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes small seizures in the daytime as well as at night. His muscles turn slack for thirty seconds or more, during which time he is unable to move or speak. As education manager for a Silicon-Valley company’s line of audio equipment, he can ill afford these mini-lapses; still, the medical remedies his physician prescribes have serious side effects.
“They make me so hyper, I can’t sleep at night,” he tells me.
Hence, he avoids them. In California he has ready access to cannabis products, yet he remains confused and uncertain. His dad, a lawyer and Republican for whom right was right and wrong was wrong, adamantly opposed cannabis consumption.
I visited CBDRx’s Research & Development quarters on its five-acre farm in Longmont, Colorado. There, genetics research, crossbreeding, and tissue culture operations are carried out. Its corporate headquarters are located in Boulder.
Managing Director Tim Gordon showed me around a residential home and outbuildings hastily converted to fit company needs. Its farm and cloning facility in Pueblo produces large-scale outdoor hemp cultivation and cloning. There the soil, supplemented with local organic compost and watered by mountain springs, make hemp plants thrive “in the most nutrient-rich environment possible.” It enabled the company to gain USDA approval for organic production of hemp.
“The industry is moving fast,” said Mr. Gordon. “Our company developed in 18 months of growth spurts—and growing pains.”
Regrettably, educating the public lags behind, he said. For example, many physicians are unaware that no prescription is necessary for the product: CBD can be purchased over the counter.
CEO Marc Brannigan has been in the cannabis industry for many years. “I have seen the benefits of cannabis and how it increases the quality of life,” he said via email. “When I learned of the advantages of growing hemp for CBD, I knew this was the direction I wanted to go. Hemp CBD allows people to benefit from cannabis without the concern of getting high. We have noticed a broader range of people accepting cannabis in the form of hemp CBD vs marijuana and THC. CBDRx was created to bring CBD hemp to the nation and possibly the world. The need for CBD continues to grow.”
He added that his company maintains websites and distributors “who could work directly with doctors or states if needed.”
In November 2014, Mr. Brannigan started out in his facility in Pueblo with one single cultivar. By the time planting season arrived in May 2015, he had cloned 100,000 plants from cuttings. That year, according to The National Hemp Association, CBDRx produced 50,000 pounds of hemp. Colorado’s Department of Agriculture reports that, statewide, 165 companies planted 3,546 acres of hemp.
Mr. Brannigan’s one female plant supplied the in-house seed preference for the cannabinoid-rich stock he deems best. All company plants are low in THC, which is continually checked via lab tests. Besides USDA organic certification, the company is GMP compliant, abiding by nationally recognized standards of Good Manufacturing Practices.
Alexis Korybut, President and Head of Sales, had this to say: “We are proud to be at the forefront of the emerging organic hemp industry, producing the widest spectrum of cannabinoids available in flower and oil forms for wholesale distribution.”
The company ships to any state and country where hemp products are legal to sell. “Already we have established a clientele in England.”
I contacted the Wyoming Medical Society with my findings. Communications Director Tom Lacock struck a hostile stance, only but emailing the organization’s Position Paper. It states that WMS “opposes legalization of medical marijuana outside the regulatory process of the US Food and Drug Administration,” noting, “the recreational use of marijuana has a deleterious effect on the health of individuals, particularly on the developing brains of adolescents and the direct effects of smoke and secondhand smoke.”
WMS member Dr. David Wheeler, however, a neurologist practicing in Casper, acknowledged that some of his patients use CBD, though adding that it’s difficult to assess just how much they are helped by it.
In Wyoming, a patient’s process to qualify is lengthy and difficult. Application fees are high. “Besides, CBD is expensive,” he said. Insurance companies will not cover CBD treatment.
A PBS documentary on cannabinoid studies
http://www.pbs.org/video/2103797319/ – worth watching!
A Colorado company that is going places. Now producing certified organic hemp for its CBD oil. Any ideas on how we can get the product into Wyoming?
Meanwhile in England
Hemp Diaries Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/hempdiaries has become so popular, I am rerouting my energies to it. Please visit me there.
Hemp Diaries Facebook
This Facebook has become very popular–so much so, I’m rerouting my energies to it. Please visit its latest post
Email sent to Sen. Barrasso re S134
Dear Senator Barrasso:
Thank you for your reply to my letter. I appreciate your prompt response.
Regrettably, you failed to address my request that you co-sponsor S.134, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015/16. You replied that the bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This does not, of course, prevent you from signing on as co-sponsor. Again, I ask that you do so—and that, as Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, you persuade as many of your colleagues as you can to follow suit.
You mention that “the Wyoming legislature is currently considering a bill, HB 0032, which would allow the use of hemp extract under medical supervision.” The bill actually passed during the 2015 session. It became law, notwithstanding Governor Mead’s refusal to affix his signature thereto.
Representative Robert McKim patterned his bill after Utah’s Charlee’s Law; however, where Utah followed Charlee’s with agricultural-hemp legislation, Wyoming failed to do so. Moreover, HB 32 is quite restrictive. Even Wyomingites who qualify have a tough time obtaining treatment. This is why we need your help. It is paramount that, at the federal level, hemp be removed from the Controlled Substances Act.
The June 2015 National Geographic provides an extensive overview of cannabis research, from Israel to Spain, that has pinpointed many medical conditions, and the promising treatments that have commenced, abroad as well as in the US. It includes a write-up of research at University of Colorado by Professor Nolan Kane, who is growing hemp for research purposes “after years of wrangling” with federal and university officials, though his plants “carry extremely low levels of THC.”
Mr. Kane, pondering the U.S. ban on industrial hemp cultivation, comments that “Hemp produces fibers of unparalleled quality … it’s a tremendously high biomass crop … We import tons and tons of hemp each year from China and even Canada, yet … can’t legally grow it … (some) farmers in the U.S. can literally look across the Canadian border and see fields that are yielding huge profits.”
Hemp creates jobs, thousands of them. As medical doctor, surely you are aware that agricultural hemp carries no THC to speak of, and that the medicinal properties of hemp are many and varied. I ask that you act on that knowledge.
The absence of federal regulations has had unfortunate consequences. CBD oil is no less expensive than its pharmaceutical counterpart—a six-pack of 10-gram tubes can cost $1,999—yet no assistance from insurance is available to patients whose only hope is this product. Worse, the unregulated market allows gimmicky companies to promote and sell questionable products over the internet.
A November 2015 article in the New Republic points out that, as things currently stand, any lab that analyzes CBD runs the risk of legal conflict. Consequently, according to its author, Elizabeth Bruenig, hucksters are selling substances with no medicinal value; in some cases, the products are downright harmful to consumers’ health.
“In the absence of regulation and research,” writes Ms. Bruenig, “the CBD industry traffics in hard-sell marketing and a gray haze of half-truths, all the while profiting off the hopes of the desperate.”When, in February 2015, the FDA analyzed 18 CBD products, “six contained no cannabinoids whatsoever. Another 11 contained less than 1 percent CBD … In states that have legalized CBD, regulations can require CBD products to contain at least 5 percent CBD, more often 10 to 15 percent.”
Judging by the author’s write-up, HempMedsPx is one of these gimmicky companies. An anecdote tells of a Mr. Kenzler whose daughter got sick after ingesting a supposed CBD oil, advertised as Real Scientific Hemp Oil. “Kenzler, who lives in Oregon (where hemp and marijuana products are legally recognized), sent a sample to be analyzed to Going Green Labs in Albany, Oregon. The lab found that Real Scientific Hemp Oil contained much more THC than what HempMedsPx had advertised—3.8 percent instead of roughly 1 percent.”
HempMedsPx, whose parent company is Medical Marijuana, Inc., in Poway, California, was mightily displeased when Mr. Kenzler published the Going Green Labs analysis on his blog.Writes Bruenig: “In an email to the New Republic, Hard, the Medical Marijuana, Inc., spokesperson, insisted that the sample of hemp oil tested by Going Green Labs had been tampered with by a competitor after Kenzler obtained it.
”Companies like HempMedsPx are asking consumers simply to trust them, she writes. “CBD oils are never subjected to systematic testing by any U.S. regulatory body. The FDA regulates all pharmaceutical labs in the country. But cannabis labs like the ones that HempMedsPx and others use are not, because cannabis is not federally recognized as a legal drug.
”Senator Barrasso, we ask that you help remedy this intolerable situation by co-sponsoring S.134.