Could hemp replace oranges as Florida's agricultural powerhouse?
SPRING HOPE, NC-- Hemp, Inc. ( OTC PINK : HEMP ) reports Florida legislators are looking to ease restrictions on industrial hemp research. According to the Florida State Senate, house bill 1217 that "authorizes specified universities in state to engage in industrial hemp research projects" has been "pending review of CS under Rule 7.18(c)" since Wednesday of last week. Representative Ralph Massullo, sponsor of the bill, said industrial hemp is a viable crop option for industry-starved rural areas and may "even surpass oranges." Under the proposed law, "universities could see how Florida's climate affects the plant and what market there is for the byproducts." Some Floridians believe industrial hemp could become the next agricultural powerhouse.
Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. commented, "Florida has been cautious when it comes to hemp since the government banned it alongside marijuana. This is why we continually educate the public on the difference between hemp and marijuana. Industrial hemp has absolutely no recreational applications. It only has medical and industrial applications. You can't get high on hemp if you wanted to. It is impossible. While the plants are closely related, hemp has only very small traces of THC."
The proposed Florida house bill states:
Industrial hemp is a suitable crop for this state, and its production will contribute positively to the future of agriculture in the state. The infrastructure needed to process industrial hemp will increase business opportunities and new jobs in communities throughout the state. As a food crop, industrial hemp seeds and oil produced from the seeds have high nutritional value, including healthy fats and proteins. As a fiber crop, industrial hemp can be used in themanufacture of products such as clothing, building supplies, and animal bedding.
The orange is iconic of Florida, however, the citrus crop has been suffering from "citrus greening" since the disease was found in the south Florida region of Homestead and Florida City back in August, 2005. Last year, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences survey reported citrus growers in Florida said as much as 90 percent of their acreage and 80 percent of their trees were infected by the deadly greening disease, which made a huge dent in the state's $10.7 billion citrus industry. (Source: Science Daily/ University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)
The greening disease is a bacterial infection that starves the trees of nutrients and causes damages to the roots. This in turn causes the fruit produced to be too small to juice or sell.
While republican Representative Ben Albritton wants scientists to do five years of research before the state approves commercial growers, Representative Rick Roth believes farmers should not have to wait to start cultivating a more viable crop as industrial hemp. The bill is currently in the House chamber for the first read by the Agriculture and Property Rights Subcommittee.
Industrial hemp can be used for a wide range of products, including fibers, construction, food, paper, insulation materials, textiles, cosmetic products, and beverages, to name a few and is estimated to be used in more than twenty-five thousand products spanning multiple markets (agriculture, textiles, recycling, automotive, electronics, furniture, food/nutrition/beverages, paper, construction materials, personal care and others).
"The industrial hemp industry is here to stay and it's only going to grow. Florida, in particular, has been trying to slow that evolutionary progress down by not legalizing industrial hemp in the past but it's like trying to sweep back an incoming tide with a broom. Legislators are again taking action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. It will be interesting to see how long they'll be able to hold back the tide. I suspect it won't be too much longer," said Perlowin.
As more states legalize industrial hemp, more opportunities become available for Hemp, Inc. to process the raw hemp. Hemp, Inc.'s commercial, large scale, 70,000 square foot industrial hemp processing facility, on 9 acres of land in Spring Hope, North Carolina is the only one of this magnitude in the entire western hemisphere. The milling portion of Hemp, Inc.'s industrial hemp processing facility has just been completed. Once the shredder/grinder and conveyor (the parts that feed the mill) are installed over the next 2 weeks, full production of the approximate 18 million pounds of Kenaf (the cousin plant to hemp) will begin. Hemp, Inc.'s industrial hemp processing facility is bound to become the mecca of this new clean green agricultural and industrial American revolution.
Aligned with Hemp, Inc.'s Triple Bottom Line approach, Perlowin is exploring the possibilities of developing Hemp Growing Veteran Village Kins Communities in Florida and is actively looking for 1,000+ acres (similar to the 500-acre demonstration community being built in Arizona where Perlowin plans on growing 300 acres of hemp this year) that would consist of smaller lots for Kins Domains (eco-villages). "The eco-villages would also include organic gardens, natural beehives, a pond, a living fence and other elements," said Perlowin.
From rehabilitation to job creation, Perlowin says this model presents a holistic solution to those individuals that all Americans owe a great debt of gratitude towards... the American veterans. Perlowin expects this model to produce very lucrative revenue for Hemp, Inc., the veterans themselves and the local communities these Kins Communities are built near. "The infrastructure for 'The Hemp Growing, CBD-Producing, Veteran-Village Kins Community,' which takes time to build, is already in place in Arizona which I've been building for the last 4 years and can be duplicated for Florida," concluded Perlowin.