Makers of Hemp Foods Win Legal Victory

Makers of Hemp Foods Win Legal Victory
Posted by CN Staff on February 06, 2004 at 19:47:12 PT
By Carolyn Jung, Knight Ridder Newspapers
Source: Mercury News
Makers of hemp foods, who waged a 2-year fight with the federal government, won a major victory Friday when a federal appeals court ruled unanimously that their beers, bread, cereals, granola bars, waffles and other products can stay on supermarket shelves.Nowhere was the decision by San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals more hailed than in California, home to more hemp food manufacturers than any other state.
"It's a great day for us, and I'm looking forward to offering hemp foods without having the shadow of government trying to slow us down," said John Roulac, a plaintiff and founder of Nutiva, a Sebastopol, Calif., company that makes hemp-food bars and hemp chips.The three-judge panel overturned a federal rule that would have banned the sale of foods made from sterilized hemp seeds and oil, which contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana.The Hemp Industry Association, an Occidental, Calif.-based group representing hemp product manufacturers, maintained that the trace amounts of THC in hemp foods cannot cause psycho-activity or a positive urine test for marijuana, even if unrealistically high levels of hemp seed and oil were consumed. Moreover, health food manufacturers touted hemp seed and oil as a near-miracle nutrient that's high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and richer in protein than meat and fish.The manufacturers argued they were unfairly singled out by the government. After all, they noted, poppy-seed bagels contain a trace amount of opiate from poppies, and they're not banned.But Congress exempted poppy seeds from substance-abuse laws in 1970, while both THC and marijuana remain under the Controlled Substances Act.The situation came to a head in October 2001, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a new rule in the Federal Register banning from food any hemp seed and oil containing traces of THC. The Hemp Industry Association went to federal court in January 2002 to overturn the rule. DEA spokespersons Friday declined to comment on whether they would appeal the 9th circuit's ruling.Hemp has been grown for at least 5,000 years in China, where it's used as an anti-inflammatory, emollient and diuretic, according to the association. But hemp foods didn't begin to appear in U.S. stores until about 1992. Now, they account for about $5 million a year in sales.Lynn Gordon, part-owner and founder of French Meadow Bakery, which makes the top selling hemp bread in the country, couldn't be more pleased about the court's decision. During the legal fight, many stores pulled her bread from their shelves because of the uncertainty about hemp foods."It really impacted us," Gordon said. "Retailers were reticent about bringing the product back because the legal issue was still on-going. The time and labor that went into trying to convince them was unbelievable. I'm just glad it's over now, and we can move forward, and bring out new products that we've been waiting to introduce."Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)Author: Carolyn Jung, Knight Ridder NewspapersPublished:  Friday, February 6, 2004Copyright: 2004 San Jose Mercury NewsContact: letters sjmercury.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:HIA News Hemp Links Vs. DEA Hemp Ruling in PDF Court Rejects DEA Bid To Outlaw Hemp Cannot Regulate Naturally-Occurring THC
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on February 07, 2004 at 04:27:51 PT
And to think Billy Klinton drank Hemp Ale
on Air Force One, no less.I hope the makers of Hemp Ale can get their brewery back up and running now; I used to live close to Fredrick, Maryland where it was made, and that whole area has suffered terribly economically these last 3 years. Now, if the (sadly, shrinking in numbers) family farmers nearby could be allowed to grow hemp, many jobs would return to the area. The county's young people, who are very attached to the lands their ancestors have lived on for generations, have been forced to leave Fredrick County's still-beautiful valleys and mountains to seek good paying jobs elsewhere. They'd be back in a flash if they could make a decent living there. Hell, I'd be there myself.It's the same all over the country. Free hemp, and you free a stalled economic engine capable of some very high output, indeed. The seed oil alone will be needed to offset the coming fuel shortages caused by Peak Oil. Hemp doesn't need much in the way of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (made from oil, folks); Bessie the Cow and all her cohort can produce all a farmer needs for hemp. Who needs to invade the Middle East when we can literally grow our own engine and heating fuels? (Jobs.) Which in turn creates the need for building processing plants locally? (More jobs.) And put millions of family farmers back on the land they know how to tend so well? (Even more jobs.) And with the use of hemp products in housing construction (see : IsoChanvre's home page: for all the incredible things that can be made with hemp fibers in construction today, right now, as the technology already exists) the old growth forests covering the ancient mountains and valleys I used to walk through could be saved from being cut down and replaced with trash pines of little value. Hemp is an engineer's dream, like the mythical 'alkahest' of yore, a something that almost *anything* can be made from. Yet we still mess around with black gunk from the ground; it's all so bass-ackwards, it's infuriating.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 06, 2004 at 20:17:01 PT
Portion of Article About Medical Marijuana
Thanks Virgil,I scanned thru the article until I found this and thought it is worth a look.****The Marijuana Policy Project points out that four states that have passed medical marijuana initiatives, Washington, Maine, Nevada and Oregon, are all swing states in a presidential election, and so Friends of the Bud could have huge clout. So where do the candidates stand? Clark and Kerry have both pledged that they would end federal raids on providers and consumers of medical marijuana. Dean blocked a Vermont version of the medical marijuana bill in 2002, as one would expect of a guy who, so his wife recalls, wore khaki drill slacks and carried a brief case when he was in college. Anyway, Dean's a doctor and by and large doctors don't like rivals, as the homeopathic crowd discovered a hundred years ago when the Rockefeller-financed campaign for allopathic medicine got under way.Edwards is cited by the MPP as having said to a pro-pot group in New Hampshire that it would be "irresponsible" to stop DEA raids on marijuana patients and providers. It's a bit more complicated than that. On August 21 Edwards was asked in New Hampshire whether he would end the DEA raids in California. He answered, "I don't think you can say to people working for you, 'no, ignore violations of the law.' I think that's irresponsible for the President to do." The logical follow up question to Edwards would have been, Well, as president would you seek to change the law?" Here at CounterPunch at least we don't know what Edwards' position on the matter is. He has admitted to smoking dope, and no, we don't know whether anyone asked him if he inhaled.In New Hampshire the Edwards campaign got very testy with Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana, going so far as to get the cops to eject one activist passing out leaflets during an Edwards meeting. After the primary the GSMM exulted that " Medical marijuana patients were the clear winners...a solid majority of Granite Staters voted for candidates who have pledged to end the Bush administration's raids on medical marijuana patients and providers." GSMM had given Kerry an A grade in their voters' guide, Clark a B+. Dean pulled a D and Edwards a low rating.Medical marijuana is a potent issue. An August 2003 Zogby International poll disclosed that voters were told that Dean had acted to block a medical marijuana bill in Vermont, 28 percent said they would be less likely to vote for him in the Democratic presidential primary, while only 10 percent said they would be more likely to support Dean.So far as we can see, aside from medical marijuana, the big issues dividing Kerry and Edwards, are Botox and Nafta.
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on February 06, 2004 at 20:02:26 PT
Release the salesman
A five million dollar industry is not anything. There are health food stores everywhere and sales could really take off. There is an article by the editors of CounterPunch that speaks of cannabis to some length in regards to the presidential race. Now as much as I read, it has taken me until this article to find out Edwards is for repealing NAFTA. Clark calls talks about stopping the jobs leaving the country and says modify it. Kerry says once he takes office he will study it and take action within 120 days. Of course I am outraged by such a BS answer. Here is the article- want to file this under the corruption relationship to cannabis dilema. The House has a bill to require a paper trail in voting machines with 110 sponsors. There are zero sponsors of a bill in the Senate. I find it an all but deliberate act to remove the paper trail that was there before this "upgrade" passed and funded by Congress in response to the Florida 2000 elections. I called it "The Remove the Paper Trail Act." This no-brainer is not a mistake. It is a corruption of all things proper and sensible.
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