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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cannabis, is Good!!, did you know??

                       Photo

Is industrial hemp the ultimate energy crop?

Did you know that the US first President George Washington grew Hemp?


By the way, did you know that the US Government/corporation owns all the patents on medical cannabis cures and treatments?

Hemp is one of the ultimate renewable resources of our planet.  From paper, to fabric, to bio fuel, to medicine,......  

60 WAYS TO USE YOUR HEMP

and another article of interest in the hemp arena

http://removingtheshackles.blogspot.com/2013/05/hemp-could-free-us-from-oil-prevent.html


Original Article HERE:  http://theconversation.com/is-industrial-hemp-the-ultimate-energy-crop-20707

2 January 2014, 7.45pm GMT

Is industrial hemp the ultimate energy crop?

Bioenergy is currently the fastest growing source of renewable energy. Cultivating energy crops on arable land can decrease dependency on depleting fossil resources and it can mitigate climate change…

Author

Disclosure Statement

Thomas Prade receives funding from the Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research, the EU commission, the Skåne Regional Council and Partnership Alnarp.
The Conversation is funded by the following universities: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, City, Durham, Glasgow Caledonian, Goldsmiths, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen's University Belfast, Salford, Sheffield, Surrey, UCL and Warwick.
It also receives funding from: Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and The Alliance for Useful Evidence
Using industrial hemp for the production of bioenergy has been promoted by enthusiasts for a long time. ShutterstockBioenergy is currently the fastest growing source of renewable energy. Cultivating energy cropson arable land can decrease dependency on depleting fossil resources and it can mitigate climate change.
But some biofuel crops have bad environmental effects: they use too much water, displace people and create more emissions than they save. This has led to a demand for high-yielding energy crops with low environmental impact. Industrial hemp is said to be just that.
Enthusiasts have been promoting the use of industrial hemp for producing bioenergy for a long time now. With its potentially high biomass yield and its suitability to fit into existing crop rotations, hemp could not only complement but exceed other available energy crops.
Hemp, Cannabis sativa, originates from western Asia and India and from there spread around the globe. For centuries, fibres were used to make ropes, sails, cloth and paper, while the seeds were used for protein-rich food and feed. Interest in hemp declined when other fibres such as sisal and jute replaced hemp in the 19th century.
Abuse of hemp as a drug led to the prohibition of its cultivation by the United Nations in 1961. When prohibition was revoked in the 1990s in the European Union, Canada and later in Australia, industrially used hemp emerged again.
This time, the car industry’s interest in light, natural fibre promoted its use. For such industrial use, modern varieties with insignificant content of psychoactive compounds are grown. Nonetheless, industrial hemp cultivation is still prohibited in some industrialised countries like Norway and the USA.
Energy use of industrial hemp is today very limited. There are few countries in which hemp has been commercialised as an energy crop. Sweden is one, and has a small commercial production of hemp briquettes. Hemp briquettes are more expensive than wood-based briquettes, but sell reasonably well on regional markets.
Large-scale energy uses of hemp have also been suggested.
Biogas production from hemp could compete with production from maize, especially in cold climate regions such as Northern Europe and Canada. Ethanol production is possible from the whole hemp plant, and biodiesel can be produced from the oil pressed from hemp seeds. Biodiesel production from hemp seed oil has been shown to overall have a much lower environmental impact than fossil diesel.
Indeed, the environmental benefits of hemp have been praised highly, since hemp cultivation requires very limited amounts of pesticide. Few insect pests are known to exist in hemp crops and fungal diseases are rare.
Since hemp plants shade the ground quickly after sowing, they can outgrow weeds, a trait interesting especially for organic farmers. Still, a weed-free seedbed is required. And without nitrogen fertilisation hemp won´t grow as vigorously as is often suggested.
So, as with any other crop, it takes good agricultural practice to grow hemp right.
Hemp has a broad climate range and has been cultivated successfully from as far north as Iceland to warmer, more tropical regions. Flickr: Gregory JordanBeing an annual crop, hemp functions very well in crop rotations. Here it may function as a break crop, reducing the occurance of pests, particularly in cereal production. Farmers interested in cultivating energy crops are often hesitant about tying fields into the production of perennial energy crops such as willow. Due to the high self-tolerance of hemp, cultivation over two to three years in the same field does not lead to significant biomass yield losses.
Small-scale production of hemp briquettes has also proven economically feasible. However, using whole-crop hemp (or any other crop) for energy production is not the overall solution.
Before producing energy from the residues it is certainly more environmentally friendly to use fibres, oils or other compounds of hemp. Even energy in the fibre products can be used when the products become waste.
Recycling plant nutrients to the field, such as in biogas residue, can contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions from crop production.
Sustainable bioenergy production is not easy, and a diversity of crops will be needed. Industrial hemp is not the ultimate energy crop. Still, if cultivated on good soil with decent fertilisation, hemp can certainly be an environmentally sound crop for bioenergy production and for other industrial uses as well.



Growing the pot industry: A test of American business ingenuity

9 hours ago
Denver-based party planner Jane West has created an upscale tasting menu designed to pair with marijuana. Bacon skewer?
Edible Events Co.
Denver-based party planner Jane West has created an upscale tasting menu designed to pair with marijuana. She is one of several entrepreneurs working on a business model for the pot industry.
Now that marijuana sales are legal in Colorado, but still illegal under federal law, entrepreneurs are rushing to figure out how to develop a business model for the pot industry.
It's a real test of Yankee ingenuity. Entrepreneurs are jumping into a Wild West-like landscape of marijuana market opportunities. This new gold rush sometimes is referred to as a "green rush," led by "ganjapreneuers."
Working within state guidelines, they are moving forward with ambitious cannabis business strategies. They see potential for big sales and profits—especially if more mid-sized businesses can transition to large, national brands.
Wealthy individual investors already are tapping private equity firms for a bite of the potentially lucrative marijuana business.
"Our investors are from the far left and the far right," said Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of Privateer Holdings, a cannabis-focused private equity firm. "There's old money and new money. You put them in a room and they wouldn't agree on anything else but this issue," Kennedy said.
Seattle-based Privateer also acquired Leafly.com, which offers online reviews of cannabis strains and dispensaries.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana—and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a medical marijuana plan last week.
But voters in Colorado and Washington state went a step further in 2012, becoming the first to legalize small plant amounts for adult recreational use and to regulate it like alcohol. Colorado sales began on New Year's Day. Marijuana retailers are scheduled to open in Washington state later this year.
Amid this historic backdrop, a small merchant-focused pot industry is growing, alongside forerunners to national—potentially public—cannabis companies. The legal marijuana sector could unfold and function like the beer industry, with small batch varieties nabbing market share amid larger brands.
For now, mass cannabis production and business models aren't as vigorous as they could be because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Banks and credit card companies are prohibited from processing pot business transactions, according to federal rules.
In an analysis of the marijuana marketplace, San Francisco-based ArcView Group forecasts a 64-percent surge in the legal U.S. cannabis market to $2.34 billion this year. The five-year national market could grow to $10.2 billion amid rising demand and potentially new state markets, according to ArcView.
Supporters of legalized marijuana are pushing for ballot measures in Alaska and California.
"There's been a remarkable evolution in the cannabis industry," said Steve Berg,editor at ArcView Market Research. ArcView offers start-up funds to cannabis businesses. "While certain people do still smoke joints, many other formats used are constituting an increasing portion of the market," Berg said.
New marijuana ingestion methods beyond smoking are helping to drive cannabis' growth. Marijuana concentrates are the fastest growing category of products. Oil extracted from raw cannabis also can offer exact dosing for medicinal purposes, including the treatment of chronic pain. Non-smoking technologies include vaporization, edibles and capsules.
Beyond actual pot production and sales, more ancillary businesses are emerging, including security, insurance and e-commerce companies that support the legal marijuana supply chain.
Some food-focused entrepreneurs are betting adult recreational marijuana becomes an alternative to wine consumption.
Denver-based party planner Jane West, owner of Edible Events, has been throwing parties for years. As the adult legalized marijuana market takes shape, she's hosting her first cannabis-food party this month at an art gallery. She has created a tasting menu specifically designed to pair with marijuana consumption.
To be clear, the food will not include weed as an ingredient due to state regulations. Instead, the cannabis food party is BYOC, bring your own cannabis. West has partnered with Uber, which lets consumers connect with drivers using a mobile app. Party rules will prohibit guests driving themselves.
Roaming waiters will serve high-class munchies to sate cannabis-induced munchies. Forget doobies, chased by cheap party snacks. Imagine this scenario instead. Ingest marijuana through a sleek vaporizer. Hungry? Then nibble on bacon skewers, laced with ancho chile, finished with sweet corn chowder. Because ingesting marijuana can sometimes cause a dry "cotton mouth," West is sticking to food with high moisture content, so no bread, crackers or pretzels.
"I wanted high-end food pairings with 'BYO' cannabis, as cannabis is an alternative to wine," West said. "I wanted a mainstream, artisanal experience."
Amid Colorado's fast-moving marijuana scene, weed and sushi pairing menus have appeared.
Plus, a Denver marijuana dispensary already is experiencing a short-term shortage, a 3D Cannabis employee told CNBC last week. Amid restocking inventory, dispensary workers are rationing sales to customers.
Marijuana industry experts forecast an even more robust, wholesale cannabis market once a key rule expires at the end of September. Colorado law now requires marijuana businesses to grow a substantial percentage of the marijuana they sell, which is commonly known as vertical integration.
"The obvious forecast is that you'd see an industry that looks like the beer industry," said Jeffrey Miron, senior lecturer and director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University's Department of Economics. Micro growers could produce more expensive, artisanal cannabis strains, with larger manufacturers producing more readily available varieties. "They could co-exist," said Miron.
"The precursors of true national cannabis companies have emerged in the form of multi-state licensors and are leveraging strong branding and scalable business models," Berg wrote in his recent ArcView report.
Take the case of Denver-based Dixie Elixir, a leading maker of cannabis-laced edibles. Its products include cannabis-infused chocolate, ice cream, beverages, capsules, bath soaks and muscle relief lotion. Dixie Elixir employs a national branding and licensing strategy, with plans to grow and be acquired.
"These companies will be prime candidates for acquisition or public listing, especially upon federal legalization," Berg wrote in his report.
Yes. Pot entrepreneurs are betting on marijuana IPOs