LAS VEGAS, Jan. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The San Francisco Chronicle, a newspaper serving California's Bay Area, featured Hemp, Inc. (OTC:HEMP) and its decortication line in a recent article entitled, "An End to Exile: Hemp's Bright American Future." The article, written by Brooks Mencher, was initially published on the San Francisco Chronicle's online news site, the SFGate, on Saturday, January 17, 2015 and again in print in the San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday edition on January 18, 2015. The article recapitulated why the Industrial Hemp industry is "poised to become a major agricultural and industrial force" and why Hemp, Inc.'s bold move by its CEO to purchase a decortication line of equipment puts it at the forefront of this emerging industry.
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Hemp, Inc. (OTC:HEMP) CEO, Bruce Perlowin, said in a response to the published article, "The purchase of the decortication equipment was a critical step we needed to take in order for Hemp, Inc. to help Americans transition from non-sustainable synthetic solutions to more hemp-based clean, green solutions." As Mencher wrote, "The manufacturing infrastructure is being built. Its penny stocks reflect hope, conviction and volatility," which many believe is a recipe for success in the budding industrial hemp industry.
The Temafa decortication equipment housed in Hemp, Inc.'s Spring Hope, NC plant, is designed to separate the fiber from the core of the hemp plant through a process known as decortication and is the first of this magnitude in the United States. The company's decortication facility will allow the company to process raw hemp for American farmers, when it becomes legal in North Carolina thereby allowing two valuable base products (fiber and hurd) to yield hundreds of products.
An excerpt from the article:
Today, hemp returns not to its point of exile when it was essentially banned from America by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, but to a point far earlier: There is no economic infrastructure. There are no trade routes. There are no seed stocks, just feral hemp growing here and there, "ditchweed" left from World War II's "Hemp for Victory" campaign, or from America's more distant hemp past, which saw more than 400,000 acres under cultivation in the 1800s (before the Civil War, Kentucky alone had 160 hemp factories and employed several thousand workers).
And, there have been no decorticators, the powerful (and hugely expensive) fiber-processing machines until a peculiar series of events last year.
This revival tale begins in the 1990s, when the truth about tobacco's health impacts became known after decades of concealment by the industry. A lawsuit by the attorneys general of 46 states culminated in the landmark 1998 Master Settlement Agreement hugely affecting the tobacco giants: A payback was in order -- a $200 billion fine, a medical fund and major hits to marketing strategies. Demand dropped and farmers suffered. Part of the settlement was to establish another crop for tobacco farmers. Hemp, of course, was illegal.
The agricultural replacement was kenaf, a stalky plant in the hibiscus genus known for producing coarse fiber much like jute. As part of the agreement, Raleigh-headquartered Alliance One, a major global tobacco player, bought a German-made decorticator to process thousands of new acres of kenaf in North Carolina. The crop also was established in foreign tobacco grounds of U.S. corporations, including Malaysia.
According to David Schmitt, who worked on the machine and is now Hemp Inc.'s chief operating officer, it took the German maker, Tamafa, a year to build the $15 million machine system, a year to install it in North Carolina for Alliance, and a year to debug it because it was originally engineered for hemp, not kenaf.
It was mothballed after five years, Schmitt said. "They made premium horse bedding...and fulfilled the penalty requirement. Then they walked off."
According to Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. (OTC:HEMP), "The article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which talked about Hemp, Inc., was a very powerful article in the fact that it was the 2nd of a 2-part series that serves to educate the public on industrial hemp. The history of hemp in America and the many products made from hemp projects what we have been saying all along...it's time for a clean, green, agricultural and industrial revolution for America."
Another excerpt from the article:
With sort of nouveau Industrial Revolution at hand in the midst of the Great Depression, hemp was reintroduced with fanfare to the beleaguered American public by Popular Mechanics magazine, which had found in Cannabis sativa linneaus America's industrial salvation: farm jobs, manufacturing employment, raw resources, innovation and independence from imports. In February 1938, the magazine dramatically predicted that hemp would become America's "New Billion-Dollar Crop," a forecast linchpinned to a new version of the decorticator, a machine that separates fiber from the rest of the plant. Hemp, said Editor Henry Haven Windsor Jr., could produce four times the amount of paper pulp per acre as a forest, and it could be done every year as opposed to every 20.
Hemp, Inc. (OTC:HEMP) executives say the Industrial Hemp industry has been gaining momentum over the last couple of years. The recent Senate Bill (SB) 134 filed with the Congressional committee this month to "legalize industrial hemp cultivation and production" by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and co-sponsored by Senator McConnell (R-KY), Senator Merkley (D-OR), and, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and would, if passed through, "remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp." To show support for Senator Rand's continuing sponsorship of Bill 134, to legalize the growing of hemp in America, Hemp, Inc. had to import the fabric to have a 100% hemp sports coat made for him. Hemp Inc. Ambassador Dannion Brinkley gifted the Senator with the jacket on his recent visit to Las Vegas, NV.
Until Hemp, Inc. is able to legally process hemp, the company plans to mill its Kenaf on hand when the facility is fully operational.
To read the entire article, click here.
Update on House Hemp Bill (from Politico.com):
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is planning to reintroduce his industrial hemp legislation today, providing a House companion to the measure Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced earlier this month. The legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, will mirror the bill Massie introduced in 2013 by removing industrial hemp from the controlled substances list, clearing the way for the import of seeds and planting by farmers in states that have legalized the crop.
While the legislation saw little action in either chamber during the last session, advocates for industrial hemp are hopeful that it will move now that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a proponent, is now the majority leader. The text of the bill is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1yxhJzK
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