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Hemp: how one little plant could boost America’s economy | Society | The Guardian

The plant is almost magical, advocates say, with a range of applications from paper to medicine. So why is it illegal to grow?

Source: Hemp: how one little plant could boost America’s economy | Society | The Guardian

Drug unit busts 22 members of alleged Nagano ‘pot communities’ | The Japan Times

The alleged marijuana smokers chose sparsely populated parts of Nagano to host music events and get high, a special narcotics unit says.

Source: Drug unit busts 22 members of alleged Nagano ‘pot communities’ | The Japan Times

HempenRoad Overview Dossier

hemproad-greyHempenRoad film project – A travel documentary about commercial hemp industry in the Pacific NW in 1996-7.

Produced, written and narrated by DaveO, directed by Eiji Masuda, the Hempenroad is an experimental, multi-media roadtrip exploring commercial hemp businesses and conferences in the Pacific northwest.  Finishes with exclusive footage of the groundbreaking Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

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Explore:

  • Reviews from Hempworld, Journal of IHA and more
  • Production Journal – notes and pics from an almost real-time road note book
  • Soundtrack Music – eclectic assortment of bits and pieces, collected over the years
  • Most of the (unedited) narration text – read along at home!

Watch Hempenroad

Bonus:

Dave discussing the Hempenroad with D. Paul Stanford on Portland TV program, Cannabis Common Sense episodes

Note: Cannabis Common Sense is the longest-running cannabis show on the net! Oregon, USA’s CRRH (Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp) have produced this weekly show for cable TV in Oregon and for the net since 1997. Many Special Guests.

Japan’s First Lady Touts Revival of Hemp Culture via WSJ

Source: Japan’s First Lady Touts Revival of Hemp Culture – Japan Real Time – WSJ

Dave Notes:

“Very glad to see this article discussing a very fascinating aspect of Japan culture. I worked as a mushroom farmer and hitchhiked throughout remote rural areas in Japan and saw cannabis culture of all sorts — from traditional handicrafts and religious artifacts to folks harvesting wild cultivars for smoking and extracting.

A few annotations if i may:

1) My 1996/8 research essay traces the history of hemp in Japan and various uses and appeared in Cannabis Culture, Journal of International Hemp Association and Hemp Horizons

2) JapanHemp.org has gathered a massive repository of hemp artifacts and information in English and Japanese.

3) Note the wandering warrior poets Basho and Kobayashi Issa wrote about hemp on their journeys and hemp in mentioned in other literary classics.

4) The National History Museum in Sakura has many garments with unmarked cloth which are clearly not silk, cotton or mulberry, but not labelled as hemp – in fact the characters do not appear anywhere in the museum though the movement and trade form Korea and India was discussed as was the advent of silk production.

5) A commenter below mentioned wild Hokkaido cannabis and i can concur that these tall, robust, wild and THC-laden plants indeed do exist on roadsides and country areas.”

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Japan’s first lady raised eyebrows after telling a Japanese magazine that she has considered becoming a hemp farmer to help revive the traditional culture.

There seem to be few dull moments in the life of first lady Akie Abe, who sometimes spends her time hosting a web-based talk show, harvesting honey from a bee farm and even paying occasional visits to the contentious Yasukuni Shrine.

Most recently, Ms. Abe raised eyebrows after telling a Japanese magazine that she has considered becoming a hemp farmer to help revive the traditional culture.

In an interview with Spa!, Ms. Abe was quoted as saying that she had become interested in hemp cultivation and considered applying for a permit to grow the plant after studying its history.

“Hemp is a plant of which all of its parts can be used effectively,” Ms. Abe is quoted as saying. “While it is not yet permitted in Japan, I think it can be put into great practical use for medical purposes as well.”

Of course, hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, and Japan maintains a hard line on marijuana. The Cannabis Control Law enacted in 1948 bans the import, export, cultivation and purchase of marijuana. But prior to that, hemp was widely grown in Japan and used to make fabric and for use in imperial ceremonies. There are legal hemp farms in Japan, but they are rare and require a special permit.

Ms. Abe said in the article that she’d like to revive Japan’s tradition of growing hemp. “I’ve even considered myself to apply for a permit to grow hemp,” she was quoted as saying.

The article included a photo of the first lady visiting a legal hemp farm in western Japan in August and posing for a photo in the middle of the plants.

Ms. Abe has promoted the article on her personal Facebook page, encouraging those interested in the topic to pick up a copy.

The HempenRoad (1997) ~ Documentary about industrial cannabis and medical marijuana

The HempenRoad

A travel documentary about commercial hemp industry in the Pacific NW in 1996-7

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Available in full length (83 minutes) online on Youtube and Vimeo.

With legalization in Washington and Oregon, and an ever-changing landscape in BC, this film shows the roots of a movement going from society’s fringes towards mainstream acceptance by exploring economic and environmental benefits.

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Produced, written and narrated by DaveO, directed by Eiji Masuda, the HempenRoad is an experimental, multi-media roadtrip exploring commercial hemp businesses and conferences in the Pacific northwest. The film explores many uses of cannabis including fiber, paper, fuel, food, beer, medicine, as well as delving into the political and environmental issues around legalization.

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Beginning in the clearcut Olympic peninsula, the film follows narrator Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson as he visits a variety of colourful personalities and interesting businesses.

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Stops include: Victoria, BC; Eugene and Portland Oregon; and, Olympia and Seattle Washington, before finishing with exclusive footage of the groundbreaking Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

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Note: made in 1996 using footage captured by 16mm, Super 8, Hi8 tape, scans, 35mm stills, web video and editing with Adobe Premiere 1.0 on a 200Mhz Mac-clone and a 9Gb harddrive.

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The HempenRoad features:

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Victoria, British Columbia
* Ian Hunter (RiP), Sacred Herb & Victoria Mayoral candidate
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* Sarah Hannah Bedard, Sacred Herbsarah
* Odette Kalman, Ecosource
* Padra Almadi, Earthenware
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* Eric Hughes, Zima foods
* Alice Bracegirdle, Zima foodsalice

Eugene, Oregon
* Todd Dalotto, Hungry Bear
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* Rose, Hairy Truth
* Carolyn Moran, Living Tree Paper
* Bruce Mullican, So Much Hemp
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Diedre Mullican, So Much Hemp

Portland, Oregon
* D. Paul Stanford, CRRHpaul_s
* Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Dye Works
* Chris Iverson, HempWiezen beer

Olympia, Washington
* Charles Tomala, Jay Stewart, Scott Orr, OlyWa.net
* Bob Owen, WHEN
* Dennis Peron, Prop 215 (California) activist etc

Seattle, Washington
* David Edwards, Earthgoods
* S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
* Cory Brown, Fremont Hemp Co.
* Rob Jungman, Manastashmanasnow
* Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing
* Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
* Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery
* Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
* Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
* Aloha, Macrame

Vancouver, British Columbia
* Mari Kane, Hempworld
* Mosse Mellish, Greenman paper
* Geof Kime
* Jace Callaway
* Mark Parent
* Ryszard Kozlowski
* John Stahl
* Brian McClay
* Brian McLay
* Alexander Sumach
* Jean Peart
* David Watson
* Brian Taylor
* Sotos Petrides, Wiseman Noble
* and other speakers and audience members at the Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium

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HempenRoad Soundtrack includes:

* Phat Sidy Smokehouse
* JahWah
* Elemental
* Chris Sullivan
* Bread Mountain
* 420 Love
* Chris Jacobsen
* Old Time Relijun
* Collective Shoe
* J. Williamson Ensemble
* Systolie Diastolie
* and more . . .

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Digitalized for the web by Bread 420.

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Screening Posters: HempenRoad

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Box Blurb: HempenRoad

HempenRoad Blurb (from the back of the video box)

Although cultivated since 4000 BC, the Industrial strains of Cannabis Sativa are illegal in most countries in the world.

Now, as we stand on the edge of the century, people are rediscovering the versatile, ecological Cannabis plant however, many questions arise. Well, here’s the answers.

The HempenRoad is a travel-documentary, exploring what’s happening in the commercial hemp industry around the Northwest and the World. Narrated by hemp researcher & writer Dave Olson, the HempenRoad looks for balance between Economics, Art and Ecology.

Hit the Road and hear what Entrepreneurs, Researchers, Activists and the USDA have to say about this controversial and historical plant.

Check out natural dyeing, hemp food, fashion shows, tree-free paper making, organic oils, sky-high snowboarding and medicinal use of Cannabis.

Investigate why a plant used by Lao Tzu, George Washington and Queen Victoria was made illegal? How will these laws change?

Consider sustainable solutions from experts and Government officials featured in exclusive coverage of the Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

Travel through grand scenes of the Cascadia Bio-region, backed by diverse original Northwest soundtrack featuring: Phat Sidy Smokehouse, 420 Love, Elemental, Jah Wah & Chris Sullivan.

Shot on a variety of media (16mm, Super8, Hi8, 35mm) and completely edited by Mac O/S, director Eiji Masuda pushes the possibilities of independent multimedia filmmaking in the digital age.

85 minutes approx.
©1997 HempenRoad Film Project LLP. Unauthorized exhibition, duplication and distribution prohibited.

Send HempenRoad to your Congressperson, Grandma or Non-Profit group.

Don’t keep it a Secret.

Vancouver CIHS: HempenRoad Production Journal

Wandering pilgrim friend Richard Ziff and partner Helene Bisnaire futonwere there with Of the Earth. They are making a line for kids, women, men and some packs and have turned into one of Canada’s biggest hemp concerns. Also had a big fatty futon stuffed with organic cotton.

Richard Ziff of Of The Earth

Richard was involved in studying about natural foods which led into organic foods which led to cotton and into combining that with hemp.

Richard Ziff of Of The Earth Hemp and Organic Cotton Futon

 

Hemp Pedaler is three guys from Issaquah, WA who are making some super tenacious bike lube for chains, bearings and cables. Now your chain won’t spray petroleum oil onto the dirt. Works good and and doesn’t gunk up. Bikes are a miracle of invention and worthy of highest praise. These enterprising folks are also making Resin Surf Wax that is hemp oil mixed with bees wax and is super sticky.
We’ll be filming these guys making the stuff and doing some intense BMXing and mountain biking soon.

Hemp Pedalar booth

 

Ohio Hempery had a nice display of traditional midwestern hemp handicrafts, bed sheets, dresses and other icons from an earlier year. Also a great new catalog and prints of old photos of hemp farmers. Ohio hempery is one of the original hemp vendors and carry a distinctive, rural American flavor. The boss-man, Don, is quite a character and we’ll make it out there to Ohio one of these months to see his homestead and check out some wild stands of hemp.

Ohio Hempery's Traditional Hemp Cloth Display

 

Kitsalano Hemp Co. had a vast array of handmade hemp food in a variety of incarnations. Chickpea / hempseed hummus, bread, roasted seeds, butter, brownies (no, not those brownies) and tons of tasty stuff. Also had a exercise bike hooked up to a blender to make hemp smoothies.

Hemp Food of many varieties

Zima Foods Eric and Alice, who we met in Victoria, wandered the crowd with trays of seeds snacks and new crispy carob bar. Real good idea and they kept me fortified with good vibes and healthy grinds throughout the day.

Two women were spinning and weaving on traditional loom and spinning wheel. I didn’t get a chance to chat but it looked neat to show the crafts that live on.Two Women and a LoomSpinning hemp

 

 

 

 

 

Another super cool thing I saw that wasn’t hemp. Wiseman Noble were selling ball point pens made shells from vegetable cellulose, corn, i think. That shows some potential about what carbohydrates can do.

Special regards to the exhibitors who journeyed from Germany, Poland and Taiwan to set up booths of fine new textiles that show the versatility of hemp.

interesting hemp cloth German exhibitors in trade show
Hemp from Taiwan Polish hemp at CIHS

The next day we filmed from the mountains, bridges and parks of Vancouver, a city that is emerging as a world leader in trade and culture. If the energy is right, it will continue to be a Capital in the Hempen World.

Vancouver Scene

Vancouver: HempenRoad Production Journal

Commercial Industrial Hemp, Vancouver B.C. March 97

Canada Place Convention CenterThe Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium was promoted by Wiseman Noble sales and marketing, and their experience at this sort of work showed. They had a delicate balance to maintain and did that very well.

The Hempen Road was contracted to be the official, exclusive filmakers for the symposium which was a great chance for them and us.

The event was a mix of science, commerce, industry, agriculture, policy and controversy. Basically two parts to this event, the trade show and lecture series.

Wiseman Noble's CIHS signThe main disadvantage was, it is difficult to be two places at once (though I often imagine I am). Most hemp business people were in the trade show tending to their business and weren’t able to see the lectures. Wiseman Noble took care of this by having transcripts available minutes after the final speaker as well as a RealAudio cyber-cast of the whole event.

Cybercast and Transcript  desk

The video footage we shot may be available at some point from Wiseman Noble but visually, it’s not very interesting. Information wise, it’s great but maybe a bit like watching church on TV, the spirit just ain’t as strong. We’ll be using plenty tasty bits from the lectures and discussions in the Vancouver segment of the Hempen Road film so look out for that.

This guy gave an entertaining talk on paper production

Certainly some landmark speeches with researchers from around the world sharing their findings. Wiseman Noble did a great job of finding people coming from all sorts of industries and involvements and views on hemp. Especially noteworthy was the reports by the Canadian hemp farmers who were sharing their firsthand, dirty knuckle research findings with the world. Also speakers from Germany, Finland and UK who are growing hempen crops as well. It’s starting to seem that more countries than not are hopping on this hemp rocketship to sustainble industry.

It got a little intense for some speakers and the question and answer microphone became a powerful weapon as public servants were held to task. Yet the moderator kept it under control and maintained that delicate balance,
allowing people to have their say but sheltering the speakers from time to time.

Moderator of Symposium, Health Canada Rep looks on

Yeah, there is still a lot of different opinions and a lot of folks want to organize and regulate and register and create frameworks etc. I’m somewhat leery of groups as organizations seem to spend more time of organizing and maintaining the business of the group itself, and often the real work takes a back seat. Direct action speaks louder than words.

Another highlight was meeting the newly-elected Mayor of Grand Forks, BC and hemp farmer Brian Taylor. Here is a guy that stood up for his values and planted HEMP NOW or something on the side of the highway after being messed around about a government sanctioned license. He was arrested but challenged the case saying no 12 people in his community of underemployed former tobacco farmers and Russian hempfarmers would convict him for growing fiber.

The symposium audience and MicrophoneSoon thereafter, Mr Taylor was elected mayor by a margin of 3:1 over a two decade incumbent. The town is encouraging hemp business and industry and is poised to launch into the legends of hemp farming and global change.

 

The trade show was packed full of goodies and folks. A lot of friends we’ve made along the Hempen Road were in attendance, showing their wares and having a good time. We showed off a clip of our Victoria Journey turning our subjects into instant celebrities, mobbed by fans. Well not quite, but we had a chance to show what it is that we are trying to pull off with our film.

Ecosource Paper's Booth

The Hempen Road film/video is about showing the processes to take hemp from raw material to consumer. Including envisioning, developing, making, producing, distributing, marketing, retailing and using. It is also about the people who are doing this and the places where they are doing it and how those areas would change with hemp as a possible crop.

folks watching the Hempen Road
Making this film, we see a lot of wild new ideas and products. Clothes still seem to be the backbone of the industry which is a bit intense because it is the most labor intensive process you can put hemp through. The results are certainly worth it but there are dozens of steps to the process and hundreds of competitors in relating industries. Fortunately most people in the world wear clothes so a vast potential market remains.

Hemptown's Booth

The multiple tasks of production and textile shipping distances make hemp clothes still quite spendy (especially for me who shops 2nd hand) but if it will last forever, the cash is surely well spent.

The problem with some hemp and hemp/blend clothing and bags is the often mediocre quality of sewing and finishing. Sure the hemp cloth is strong, but the thread and sewing won’t hold up to a season of raging hard on the road. This make the sturdy hemp cloth into very nice patches and rags. Perhaps the price points to compete are so tight that corners are cut in sewing and hardware that are a bit sketchy. This consistent quality will come in time and the makers who quickly implement standards of durability that are as tough as the hemp, will carry on.

some nice shirts

Mendicino Hemp shirts

Backpacks and bags especially have to compete head to head with cordura nylon and national, experienced pack makers for market. If a synthetic bag stays out of the landfill longer, is it better? A well made hemp bag will last as long and perform as well as any pack but the garment has gotta be constructed tough, not just tough cloth. Lifetime guarantee is the only option worthy of hemp.

Greenman Mosse and Dave Making Paper

Well if your pack does blow out, grind it up and make it into paper like Mosse Mellish and Mark Bologna of Greenman Paper. These guys had a whole paper making process set up and going indoors at Canada Place. This was too cool. We filmed Mosse taking raw hemp fiber, hemp paper scraps and whatever else of hemp that was laying around, pulp it, lay it, dry it, decorate it, finish it and sell it in a 10’X10″ space. He is doing it with a mix of old-school technology and efficient process, using a set-up that would make (Canadian legend) MacGyver jealous.

Greenman is the original Canadian hemp paper maker and is turning out nice notebooks, journals, cards, stationary etc. Mosse is a laugh riot too, like Mr. Rogers after enlightenment. I’ve been reading Mark Bologna’s words and works in Cannabis Canada for a while and this guy gets a lot done.

 Hemp World's Mari Kane

Now if you can make 100% hemp paper in a 10 foot square space using a bunch of hardware store odds and ends, what’s stopping hemp from become large scale?

I talked with Mari Kane editor /publisher of Hemp World about this and other topics as we strolled outside in a bit of sunshine. In order to get from here to the next level of hemp as a normal part of everyday consumerism, the answer to be: money for capital and real substantial infastructure investment.

To ship a container of seeds across the ocean or refit a mill takes dollars. So does using the mainstream media to support and publicize hemp as a regular choice, not just a poor misunderstood cousin or a novelty. The thinking of people is starting to change fast, as the US saw in Nov. with medical Marijuana initiatives passing in two states, but dollars are neccessary to bring the products to every market niche.

Mari was a photographer and designer in San Francisco when she got into hemp scene. Her first idea was to make a video. Ms. Kane wisely chose to make a magazine instead. Hemp World is a quarterly magazine printed with a hemp cover (from CIHS sponsor Ecosource who we visited in Victoria).

HempWorld is really a trade journal with great articles to educate on the tricky points of business start-up, new product development and technical info on processing hemp to marketable product.

Another key point to Mari’s publishing endeavor is Hemp Pages which is like a yellow (actually beige) pages directory of hemp business worldwide. Hemp business people love this and use it as it is much easier then checking all you pockets for that phone number written on the back of a receipt or something.

In three years, Mari has watched the industry grow something like 6 fold and has no signs of slowing down at all. The question isn’t if it will happen or even when. The question is which country is going to take the lead and show the potential of large-scale hemp industry. Canada is poised if the sluggish government can figure the self-imposed paperwork maze out.

Stanley Park in the background, floating seaplane gas stations, flags, skyscrapers, buildings and trees. On to the Trade Show Floor. . .

Van's Burrard inlet