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On this Veterans Day
I would like to strongly urge the both the Veterans Administration and the Kentucky State Assembly, that with an estimated 750,000 cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among the Veteran population, they should seriously consider Veteran access to cannabis.
Veteran’s organizations are recognizing the effectiveness of cannabis in treating this condition. The American Legion has two resolutions favoring Veteran access to medical cannabis.
A worrisome component of Veteran Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with chronic pain is the constant, ever hovering specter of addiction and suicide among the Veteran population. The suicide rate sometimes reported to be as much as 22 a day, may seem a high estimate but a suicide day is 30 a month and one a day too much.
When considering the high rates of drug addiction and suicide among the Veteran population one must also consider the following reports. A recent Journal of the American Medical Association report of a 25% drop in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical marijuana laws and a Cato Institute report from January of 2015 citing a 5% drop in suicides in states having medical marijuana laws. We would expect to see a similar drop in Veteran addiction overdose deaths and suicides should Congress or the Kentucky Assembly pass a Medical cannabis law. Veterans have long recognized the beneficial effects of medical cannabis and Veterans in medical cannabis states report great success when using medical cannabis for PTSD, chronic pain and a number of other conditions for which cannabis is effective.
We strongly urge the Department of Veteran Affairs and Kentucky Assembly to actively support passage of a strong comprehensive medical cannabis bill as soon as possible. The welfare of our Veterans, indeed, their lives are depending on it!
Chad Wilson of Cave City stands next a row of industrial hemp he is growing on his farm called the Sacred Seed Farm. He is growing hemp for the cannabidiol or CDB, which is extracted from the plant and can be used to treat certain illnesses. Gina Kinslow / Glasgow Daily Times
BY GINA KINSLOW firstname.lastname@example.org
CAVE CITY – Seven years ago, Chad Wilson was anti-industrial hemp, but that’s mostly because he didn’t really know what it was. He thought industrial hemp and marijuana were the same thing.
But they’re not. Industrial hemp is different from marijuana, even though they are part of the same plant family.
“All my life I was told to stay away from the Devil’s lettuce, and that’s what I did as a good southern boy,” he said. “I didn’t understand that hemp wasn’t marijuana.”
The major difference between the two is that industrial hemp contains a much lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than marijuana.
THC is the hallucinogenic that is found in marijuana.
“There is no getting high off industrial hemp,” he said.
After seven years, Wilson has come a long way. He has gone from being anti-industrial hemp to being an industrial hemp farmer. He is also now a cannabis activist.
He grows hemp on land in Cave City he calls the Sacred Seed Farm, and says he got into industrial hemp farming by accident.
“I was doing organic farming on a little two acre plot in Bowling Green. I realized my son did not know how to grow his own food and seeds. At that point I was just doing traditional gardening, so I got into finding ways to teach him and stumbled across some stuff on hemp and the nutritional value,” he said.
Then he discovered that studies are showing an extract of industrial hemp can be used to aid in the treatment of certain illnesses, even epilepsy. He also learned that industrial hemp can be used to make biodiesel fuel and clothing, among other things.
Wilson planted a little more than nine acres of industrial hemp this year. He is one of two hemp farmers in Barren County, and one of many across the state.
“In order to be a hemp producer, it is a permitting process and that process is handled by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in cooperation with law enforcement so that everybody is on the same page. They know where every hemp production is,” said Chris Schalk, Barren County’s Agriculture Extension Agent. “I guess this is probably the second or third year for the permitting process.”
The federal farm bill of 2014 allowed state departments of agriculture to create industrial hemp research pilot programs.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles hosted a roundtable discussion for Barren County producers in October at the Barren County Cooperative Extension Service’s office off West Main Street, and during his talk he mentioned industrial hemp.
“Industrial hemp obviously gets a lot of publicity. We have a very strong industrial research hemp program here. We want to remind people that this may not be a silver bullet for tobacco, but it might be something that works for some farmers. It may not work for others,” he said. “My family used to grow it in World War II because the government asked them to for the U.S. Navy. For some people we believe this could be a profitable market.”
On Wilson’s Sacred Seed Farm, he grows industrial hemp for the cannabidiol or CDB, a natural plant compound with significant medical benefits.
Wilson is co-owner of a Louisville-based business called Green Remedy.
“We buy the hemp from the farmers and then we take it into our facility and we have a CO2 extraction where we extract the CDB and then we make the tinctures and the capsules and the isolets and all the different kinds of products, and it is a Kentucky Proud Product,” he said.
Wilson is also owner of another business called Modern Concepts, which is located on the Sacred Seed Farm in Cave City.
“This is about a 4-year-old business that I moved from Bowling Green because I wanted to get back to small town America. I wanted to get back to country living and back home to the country,” Wilson said. “We’re losing farm families every day across the state and my family was one of the ones who lost their farm in the early ’80s due to the economics of farming. For me, it’s personal and it’s about getting my boys back to the farm and living simpler.”
Modern Concepts is a garden supply center that will offer organic, hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponicly grown plants.
“We’re also a distributor for a “Shark Tank’ product – the Tree-T-Pee. What we’re doing is basically going out and finding the specialty product for this industry and bringing it to Cave City,” he said.
Industrial hemp farming has become an economically viable business for many producers.
“There’s not a lot crops out there right now that can bring the economic hope to the small Kentucky farm like this plant can right now,” Wilson said.
Despite all the things industrial hemp has going for it, it is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, along with other varieties of cannabis. But that is something U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, is hoping to change.
“I have a bill that I’m working on … that will address all of the updates that are needed with the hemp industry. And that’s the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017,” Comer said.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 will do a lot of things, but the main thing it will do is reclassify industrial hemp from a controlled substance to an agriculture crop.
“That will solve a lot of the problems right there,” he said.
Comer, a former Kentucky commissioner of agriculture, referred to industrial hemp as being “a huge success story.”
“That’s something I was glad to be a part of in a big way and that’s kind of the issue that I’m identified with. When we passed it in 2013 in Kentucky, nobody would have predicted that here we are four years later and we are the leading hemp producing state in the nation,” he said. “It’s just been a real good success story. There’s a lot of hemp being grown in Kentucky. A lot of companies that are coming into the state are making a big private investment, so I think the future looks very bright for the hemp industry in Kentucky.”
Extracting CDB from industrial hemp is not the only thing that can be done with the plant.
“It is being used as fiber in textiles. It is being used as a heavy duty fiber in a lot of the tarps that is used in the military. We’ve got companies trying to use the fiber to make components for the automotive industry for mainly the dashboards and door panels for cars in Europe,” Comer said
Industrial hemp is also being grown for livestock feed.
“Murray State University is doing a lot of research on hemp from that aspect because it yields so much more per acre than fescue hay,” he said. “And they are testing the digestibility and the nutrient content. Cattle eat it. That’s for sure.”
Comer continued that he thinks more and more uses will surface for industrial hemp because it is a plant than can be used in so many ways.
“It can be used in bioenergy. It can be used in textiles. It can be used in pharmaceuticals. It can be used in construction. There seems like for every potential use of hemp there is interest in companies to come into the state and make an investment and start processing the hemp here in Kentucky, which would be good,” he said. “It would be good for farmers. It would be good for job creation.
“I think that once we can get legislation on the federal level that deregulates hemp, I think you’ll see more private dollars flow in and more processing facilities come online and therefore more farmers will grow it.”
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced today that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has opened the application period for Kentuckians wishing to participate in the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program for the 2018 growing season.
“I am proud to report that our program participants grew more than 3,200 acres of hemp this year, the most ever under the industrial hemp research program,” said Commissioner Quarles. “My vision is to expand and strengthen our research pilot program to put industrial hemp on a responsible path toward commercialization. Our increased production and processing is welcome news for the industry.”
Industrial hemp is one of several alternative crops, including hops and kenaf, that have made headway in Kentucky’s agricultural economy in recent years. In 2017, Kentucky’s farmers planted 3,200 acres of hemp, up from 2,350 acres in 2016, 922 acres in 2015, and 33 acres in 2014, the first year of the program. In addition to 194 grower participants, 48 hemp processors are conducting research as part of the KDA program.
Applications may be downloaded from the KDA website at kyagr.com/hemp. Grower applications must be postmarked or received by November 15, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. EST. Processor/Handler applications are preferred by November 15, 2017, with a final deadline of June 1, 2018.
Public Input on Draft Administrative Regulations
The KDA is also opening a public comment period for preliminary draft regulations governing the industrial hemp research pilot program. Earlier this year, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 218, tasking the KDA with promulgating administrative regulations for the program. Once the process is complete, program rules will be found in administrative regulations, as the law prescribes.
Department officials ask that interested members of the public submit their comments in writing by October 31 so that the agency can consider those comments prior to filing the regulations with the Legislative Research Commission later this year. The draft administrative regulations will be used as the policy to guide the program in 2018.
The draft regulations are available at kyagr.com/hemp. Written comments may be submitted by mail to KDA Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601 or by email to email@example.com with “Hemp Reg Comments” in the subject line.
KDA operates its industrial hemp research pilot program under the authority of state law (KRS 260.850-260.869) and a provision of the 2014 federal Farm Bill (7 U.S.C. § 5940) that authorizes state-managed hemp pilot programs.
Brent Burchett, Director
Division of Value-Added Plant Production
Office of Agricultural Marketing and Product Promotion
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
111 Corporate Drive Frankfort, KY 40601
firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: 502-782-4120
BY JACK BRAMMER Associated Press
L. Rogers Wells Jr., a successful Glasgow businessman who helped Democrat Wallace Wilkinson become governor of Kentucky in 1987, died Sunday night. He was 79.
Wells was a key fundraiser in Wilkinson’s campaign for governor, and he was finance secretary throughout the Wilkinson administration, from 1987 to 1991.
“Without a doubt, Rogers was one of the nicest people I ever worked with and have known,” said Doug Alexander of Lexington, who was Wilkinson’s press secretary. “He had a quiet demeanor and was a humble person. He served the Wilkinson administration well and succeeded in business.”
Wells was chairman of the board and CEO of American Materials Inc. and had been chairman of New Farmers National Bank and the Bowling Green Bank and Trust Co.
He was acquitted in 1995 of a federal charge of participating in a kickback scheme with a lottery executive.
Wells had experience in business in and out of the state, owning companies involved in explosives, agriculture, fertilizer, coal, gas, oil, plastics, cable television, engineering, warehousing, distribution, construction, paving and real estate development.
As state finance secretary, Wells oversaw Kentucky’s effort to become the first state to issue bonds in the Japanese Samurai Bond Market. The complicated financing transaction saved the state millions.
Hatcher and Sadler Funeral Home in Glasgow is handling arrangements, which are pending.
BECAUSE THIS STORY IS SO IMPORTANT IN KENTUCKY I HAVE INCLUDED TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WHICH WAS AIRED ON WLKY.
THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED TODAY, JUNE 14TH, 2017, IN JEFFERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AGAINST GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR BY DANNY BELCHER OF BATH COUNTY, AMY STALKER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND DAN SEUM JR OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.
ABOVE: LINK TO PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO ON WLKY
FRANKFORT, Ky. —
Three people are suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s marijuana laws, claiming their rights are being violated by not being able to use or possess medicinal marijuana.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Jefferson Circuit Court, was filed on behalf of Danny Belcher of Bath County, Amy Stalker of Louisville and Dan Seum Jr., son of state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale.
Seum turned to marijuana after being prescribed opioid painkillers to manage back pain.
“I don’t want to go through what I went through coming off that Oxycontin and I can’t function on it,” he said. “If I consume cannabis, I can at least function and have a little quality of life.”
The plaintiffs spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Seum does not believe the state can legally justify outlawing medical marijuana while at the same time allowing doctors to prescribe powerful and highly addictive opioids, which have created a statewide and national epidemic of abuse.
That legal justification lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge, which claims Kentucky is violating its own constitution.
The lawsuit claims the prohibition violates section two of the Kentucky Constitution, which denies “arbitrary power,” and claims the courts have interpreted that to mean a law can’t be unreasonable.
“It’s difficult to make a comparison between medical cannabis and opioids that are routine prescribed to people all over the commonwealth, all over the country, and say that there’s some sort of rational basis for the prohibition on cannabis as medicine when we know how well it works,” said Dan Canon, who along with attorney Candace Curtis is representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit also claims Kentucky’s law violates the plaintiffs’ right to privacy, also guaranteed under the state constitution.
Spokespeople for Gov. Bevin and Beshear say their offices are in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.
In a February interview on NewsRadio 840 WHAS, Bevin said the following in response to a question about whether he supports medical marijuana:
“The devil’s in the details. I am not opposed to the idea medical marijuana, if prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way we would other pharmaceutical drugs. I think it would be appropriate in many respects. It has absolute medicinal value. Again, it’s a function of its making its way to me. I don’t do that executively. It would have to be a bill.” CONTINUE READING…
Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban
By Bruce Schreiner | AP June 14 at 6:38 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.
The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.
Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.
“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”
Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.” CONTINUE READING…
It’s time to start sending letters, emails, calls to the 8 elected representatives below (9 if you count Melania). Here’s the plan in two steps:
STEP 1: Have your letter and social media post handy in a text doc. You can copy and paste from the examples below or click here to download samples, then edit as you like.
STEP 2: Open each person’s website/social media, copy and paste your note, and send. Click here to jump to the addresses.
I tweeted, facebooked and emailed everyone in less than 20 minutes!
At the very least, our elected representatives must know that PLENTY of people care about an Amish KY farmer being railroaded into prison by an out of control federal agency.
Sam is 56, so even a paltry 20 years (of the 68 possible) could be a life sentence. And the feds might be able to take his farm if the judge makes the fine big enough.
All this over an innocent labeling infraction. Read the entire story here.
STEP 1: WHAT to Say
Examples below — it’s best to put in your own words so that every letter does not sound exactly the same. But if you don’t have time for that, copy and paste! Click here to download samples, then edit as you like.
TWEETS The following tweet is exactly the right # of characters. If you edit, make sure it’s no longer.
Did you know the FDA is jailing a KY Amish farmer for life over a label? He needs YOUR help now! #freeamishsam bit.ly/fda-sam
SHORT EMAIL or FACEBOOK POST
Did you know the FDA is jailing a KY Amish farmer for life over an innocent labeling infraction? He needs YOUR help now! Read the story at KyFreePress.com (bit.ly/fda-sam) Please let me know what you will do to keep this insanity from happening to other innocent Americans, and that you will do everything in your power to help secure a Presidential pardon for Samual Girod. We are ALL at risk! #freeamishsam #thefreedomcoalition
Ky Amish farmer Samuel Girod has been railroaded by the FDA into prison over an innocent labeling infraction on an all-natural salve that his family has made for 20 years with no complaints and no victims. He’s facing up to 68 years and $3M in fines.
Sam is currently in prison awaiting sentencing on June 30th, 2017. He is 56yo, has lived his whole life without electricity, the salve business has supported his family of 12 children and 25 grandchildren for 2 decades. Again, no complaints, no victims.
The FDA is the perfect example of a runaway federal bureaucracy making laws, then using them to bully innocent Americans. The FDA spent 16 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to harass the Girods, destroying their quiet Amish farm life, then convicting Sam of the most outrageous charges!
What happened to Samuel Girod can happen to any small business owner in America. Details here: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/03/updated-sam-girod-v-fda/
We Americans are ALL at risk from the FDA and other over-reaching federal agencies! If you doubt that, check out thefreedomcoalition.com. There are literally thousands of innocent Americans in U.S. prisons for breaking a law made up out of thin air by an agency bureaucrat.
Please let me know what you will do to keep this insanity from happening to other innocent Americans.
Finally, and most importantly today, I am counting on you to resolve this outrageous injustice and do your part to secure a Presidential pardon for Samuel Girod.
Sincerely, (your name and title)
For Trump’s letter, make sure to ask for a presidential pardon directly: “…injustice and sign a Presidential pardon for Samuel Girod.”
STEP 2: WHO + Addresses
Be nice in your missives, please. We don’t know why politicians are silent, but they must have a reason. Let’s assume it’s valid. Keep in mind that Sam needs friends in high places. Let’s not alienate the very people who can help him.
TO EMAIL: Go to each website and use their form, all contact info below:
- KY Congressman Thomas Massie — He’s at least been sympathetic to the issue. You can only email him if you live in his district. Mailing and phone are at the bottom of the page. Phone & Mail, Email | Facebook | Twitter
- KY Congressman Andy Barr (Girod’s district; you can only email him if you live in his district) Phone & Mail | Email Form | Facebook | Twitter
- KY State House Rep Sannie Overly (Girod’s district) Phone & Mail | Email: email@example.com | Facebook | Twitter
- President Donald Trump Phone & Mail | Email Form | Facebook | Twitter
- First Lady Melania Trump Facebook
Once a week. There are over 26,000 of us, that’s a big weekly voice! If we make contact only once, it will have minimal impact. We are aiming for BIG CONTACT so let’s do this weekly!!! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
Tips for Efficiency
Ain’t nobody got time for dis! Here’s how I made it as efficient as possible.
- Open your handy doc with your missives for easy copy and paste
- TWEETS — took me just 2 minutes to do them all! Open all the twitter pages at once (right click on each Twitter link above and “open link in new tab”). There is a “Tweet to Person” link under the profile pix (see Matt’s screenshot below). Click that, paste the tweet in the window, hit Tweet, close the tab, next.
- FACEBOOK: either go to each person’s FB page (right click and open in a new tab) and make a comment on an existing post (any post, it doesn’t matter, pick one you like). OR do a post on YOUR timeline and “tag” everyone. All tags and instructions are on the word doc above. (I did a single post and tagged everyone, it took less than a minute!)
- EMAIL: Open all the email pages (right click and open in new tab), then copy and paste each letter one after the other. This part took me 13 minutes total.
For those of you who don’t live in Kentucky, you might take a few extra seconds and email your state reps. Tell them to “Rein in the federal agencies. Do not let this happen in our state!”
- Find your Senator here: senate.gov/senators/contact/
- Find your House Rep here: house.gov/htbin/findrep
Please share your letters/tweets in the comments so others can see them and get ideas for their missives — thank you!!!
Just 2 miles outside of downtown Cave City, Kentucky, the landscape quickly turns from old brick and mortar to farmhouses and dirt roads. Down one such dirt road, a 45-acre plot of land rests nestled between patches of trees, large stretches of wildflowers and tall grasses. Two 2012 Clayton model mobile homes, an old red barn and a spattering of newer-looking structures dot the immense sea of green grass.
The dirt road leads to a gravel pathway almost up to the door of the main house. This is the new home and farm of the Wilson family, one of Kentucky’s first families to enter into the world of hemp farming through the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.
Inside, two men, the heads of the two households, scurry around in the small kitchen of the main home. Dodging the kitchen island, the dog and each other, they are busy making phone calls to clients and searching for a product or a tool or a piece of paper. There is much to be done on this April day, as the summer is quickly approaching.
One of them is a burly bearded man in a farmer’s plaid button down. The hat he wears reads “Green Remedy,” and it is adorned with buttons and pins with pro-hemp sayings, phrases and images. Tufts of curly gray and black hair stick out from beneath the hat, and a salt-and-pepper goatee wraps around his bright smile.
This is Chad Wilson, sometimes better known as the Hemp Preacher.
He doesn’t remember when he first got the name or even who gave it to him; all he knows is that it has caught on over the years.
“I can get up on a soapbox pretty quick,” he laughs. “Thing is I get to speakin’ and it just turns to preachin’.”
Chad knows he is not the only one out there who preaches the power of hemp as a versatile and strong plant. He believes in its abilities to rejuvenate Kentucky farms and the agriculture industry across the nation.
As for his nickname, Chad does not want to end up as the face of Kentucky hemp, although he slowly starting to gain that reputation. He said his biggest goal is to spread the word about the industry and to help it grow with or without his name.
This year, Chad and his family are taking their involvement in the industry one step further. They will be planting and growing their own hemp in order to have a hand in every aspect of the production.
“We’re trying to get into a position where we help others, and we feel like it’s our calling; by doing that we help grow the industry.”
Hemp History and the IHRPP
Hemp has been planted on American soil since the Colonial Era. According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky planted its first crop in 1775, and the state would become the leader in hemp production for years to come. In 1850, hemp production was at its peak with 40,000 tons of the crop coming out of Kentucky’s soil. However, in 1938 all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were outlawed, and so began its disappearance from the American farm.
During World War II, a small resurgence occurred in the industry, as hemp was used to make rope and materials for the war effort. Once the war ended, the crops began to dwindle and died out completely by 1958.
The “Second Prohibition,” as it is called by some hemp enthusiasts, occurred in 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act was passed, declaring Marijuana a “Schedule 1 substance.” Although hemp is also from the cannabis plant, it is grown and cultivated differently than marijuana. However, much of the legislation passed in the 19th and 20th centuries lumped both plants together without exception.
While marijuana is grown in a wider, spread out area, hemp farmers hope that stalks will grow up rather than out. Marijuana is also grown and harvested for its THC content. Hemp is cultivated for its seed and fiber. It has been used to make lotions, clothing and hair care products, but until recently it has been a U.S. import.
The 2014 U.S. farm bill allowed certain states to test hemp farm pilot programs. Kentucky was one of the first states to adopt the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and from its installation has seen the acreage of crops planted go from zero to 2,300 acres in just under 3 years. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture hopes to see continued growth in the industry as the 2017 season begins around late May. However, many local farmers still worry about the risks of industrial hemp farming.
In a letter included in the 2017 IHRPP Policy Guide, Ryan Quarles, KDA Commissioner, stated the importance of maintaining flexibility and strong communication between farmers, government officials and law enforcement agencies:
“Freedom, flexibility and latitude to try new methods and applications are essential to the success of any agricultural research pilot program… the Department must work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement officials to devise and oversee a research pilot program that encourages continued expansion of industrial hemp production while also effectively upholding laws prohibiting marijuana and other illegal drugs.”
Still, some small family farm owners have not seen this kind of flexibility from their local law enforcement and government. In fact, they have experienced quite the opposite sentiment as regulations on percentages of the cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are strictly enforced.
This month, Kentucky agriculture officials seized and burned almost 100 pounds of Kentucky industrial hemp from grower, Lindsay Todd. Her crop, when measured for THC percentage, came out at .4083 percent according to officials. That means the crop was one-tenth over the legal limit of .3 percent, giving officials the right to eliminate it.
Chad Wilson weighed in on the incident, saying that alternatives are necessary if the IHRPP is to continue successfully in Kentucky.
“There have to be rules and regulations, but there also have to be concerns for the farmer and mitigation of loss…the plants are affected by the environment, by the weather, by stress that can throw those levels off,” Chad said.
As long as the law remains at .3 percent and no compensation for loss is provided, Wilson worries other farmers will be reluctant to begin growing their own crops in Kentucky.
How it all began
For most of his life, Chad Wilson, like many of his now critics, had a deep-seated opposition to hemp based on the assumption that it was the same as marijuana and was detrimental to society.
“I didn’t understand what hemp was, that it wasn’t marijuana. That’s how we were raised here in the South,” said Chad. “So I’ve made this incredible journey from where I was to where I am now.”
In 2011, Chad Wilson discovered the benefits of hemp after he began seeing posts about its various uses on Facebook. He started to look deeper, and he found information about the use of industrial hemp farming for vital remediation of the soil.
Then, as he looked further, he found stories about medical hemp and CBD oil helping children and adults with epilepsy or other painful health problems.
After being given the book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy,” Chad said things changed. He is now an advocate and self-proclaimed activist for the agriculture industry and industrial hemp in Kentucky.
In an effort to spread the word about hemp and provide hemp-based products to a larger market across the state and country, Chad and his partner, Chris Smith, founded Green Remedy, Inc., in October 2014. It is a company dedicated to the production of solely hemp products such as hair and skin care items, foods, and oils. The company also sells Cannabidiol products such as tinctures, capsules and concentrates.
Cannabinoids can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause euphoria or intoxication, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead, preclinical studies have shown that CBD has “anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.”
Green Remedy, Inc. specializes in the now-legal production of this medicinal cannabis product.
In March 2015, hemp hit home for the Wilson family when Chad’s father suffered a stroke that left him virtually speechless for months. He would look with blank expression at his family members and respond to them with a simple “yes” or “no.”
“I knew we had to get CBD into his body,” Chad said.
Chad’s sister was a nurse practitioner who did not agree with the use of CBD, and she was especially against using it on her father. Not wanting to cause a divide in the family, Chad let go of the idea.
Six months later, Chad’s father was still having trouble formulating full sentences and engaging in conversation. His eyes looked different. They were dimmer than before.
Chad, unable to wait any longer, took his father to his computer. He sat him down and told him to read about the U.S. government patent on CBD oil, which states, “nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”
“Take it,” Chad’s father looked at him with pleading eyes. “I’ll take it.”
In less than 10 days, Chad noticed a change. His father was speaking again, in full sentences. A year later he was laughing, joking and living on his own with a new lease on life.
“They said he would never drive again. They said he would never live on his own again. He would probably never speak again, never ride his motorcycle or be able to care for himself. We put him on CBD, and now I have my daddy back,” Chad said behind tear-filled eyes. “I have my daddy back.”
The Local Perspective
Not everyone shares the Wilsons’ sentiments about hemp and its role in American agriculture. Chad has faced ignorance and even discrimination from people around the country. Some of the most obvious opposition and lack of knowledge comes from his own locale, South Central Kentucky.
On Broadway Street, one can find a variety of antique shops, small restaurants and a number of “For Sale” signs. Squatty buildings with chipping paint and once-bright shop signs beckon a number of town locals and some tourists on a good day. Along Broadway, one patio set-up seems to catch the eye.
Magaline’s Antique Mall, with its plastic patio chairs and array of flowers and small trees, sits awaiting customers.
Inside, Magaline Meredith stands behind the counter.
“Hemp!? You mean that marijuana stuff? I’m afraid I don’t know nothing about that, darlin’,” she said.
A clay-like concealer covered her creviced face, and bright eyes shown through the thick black mascara under her polka-dotted hat.
“Come right on in, sugar,” said the old woman with raspy southern drawl. Her attention drifted to a raincoat-clad customer walking in the door.
“What can I do ya for…oh, well hey there honey,” she said, growing louder with the realization that her guest was actually someone she had been expecting. The man began to chat with Magaline’s husband behind her and they quickly engaged in a conversation about a plastic credit card scanner.
“Ya know, we used to use that hemp in the Navy. Made ropes and such,” he said.
“Yeah, and they’re usin’ it to make plastic and lotsa cool things nowadays,” said the man in the raincoat. “Hell, they could probably make this credit card swiper outta hemp.”
“So it doesn’t get you high like real marijuana then?” Magaline asked, her bright eyes now sporting a look of confusion.
“I guess not,” said her husband.
“Well then, I guess I’m fine with them plantin’ it,” Magaline said, and they all went back to their search, leaving the conversation behind without a second glance.
Scenes like the one at Magaline’s are common in the state of Kentucky. While some people do know about hemp’s alternative uses, many still group the plant with its high-in-THC counterpart, marijuana.
In May of 2016, Chad paid a visit to the Warren County Justice Center to help his son get a driver’s license. Once he entered the building, Chad was told that he would have to leave the premises if he did not remove his Green Remedy hat. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the officials said that Chad’s hat “promoted marijuana” and so he would have to remove it before going any further.
Chad, not wanting to cause a scene, removed the hat but was disheartened by the entire event. After having explained himself to the officials and telling them that he was in fact a licensed grower, they still made him take off the hat.
“The only way this industry is gonna grow is if people take down these walls and freely communicate and share ideas,” Chad said. “And right now we’re still not seeing that.”
The Plan of Action
Back on his own farm, Chad and his son, Jordan, patiently await planting day. For now, June 1 is the set date when the first cutting will be placed in the soil. The Wilsons will be experimenting with cloning their plants rather than planting seeds.
“Cloning helps us ensure that the plant has good genes,” said Jordan. “That way it’ll be easier to regulate those THC levels and the quality of the plants we’re farming.”
With the planting of the cuttings quickly approaching, there is still much to be done on the farm- a shop to be furnished and cemented, greenhouses to be readied and careful protection of the plants themselves. Although the weather has been an obstacle in the process, the Wilsons remain hopeful that they will have a fully functioning farm within the next couple of months.
“We have a pretty good outline of what we’re going to do,” said Jordan. “But we don’t want to make anything too strict because things happen. It may rain. We may have some other setback. We just know what our end goal is, and we know we’ll make it happen.”
The Wilsons hope that the entire farm will one day become a place that draws people to Cave City. Chad believes that his farm has the potential to bring life back to the small town with an agritourism approach.
Jordan has planted radishes and carrots while he waits for the day to start planting the hemp cuttings. Another goal for the Wilson family, which Jordan is especially passionate about, is to run a certified Kentucky Organic produce farm. First, they will have to prove to the KDA that the land has been free of pesticides and chemicals for a three-year period.
Both Chad and Jordan are confident that they will receive the certification, as most of the land has not been farmed in years. Except for the back, where there was corn and soybean production, the Wilson family can prove that there have not been any chemicals or sprays on the land for around six to 10 years.
With big plans ahead of them, the Wilsons work daily to ensure that their farm will run smoothly. Chad wakes up almost every morning at 5 a.m. to begin his day making phone calls, doing business and readying the farm.
After the cuttings of hemp are planted in the greenhouse beds, the Wilsons will finally have a hand in all aspects of hemp agricultural production.
“I especially care about keeping [the hemp plants] inside, away from external factors like bugs and bad weather, especially if they will be used medicinally,” Chad said, mentioning the importance of knowing exactly where your hemp products come from.
Chad will get to oversee every part of the process from plant birth to the lab at Green Remedy and then, he hopes, into the lives of people in need.
Once everything is up and running smoothly, the final steps in Chad’s plan include making the farm a training center for anyone who wants to grow hemp. Old farmers who want to try something new. New farmers who have never put one seed in the ground. Anyone with a true desire to grow the plant will be welcome to listen and learn the Hemp Preacher’s lessons.
“My hope is that I can build something that’s a benefit to the farmer and the agricultural economy around Cave City. Then, eventually we can experiment with new crops…see what works and what doesn’t, and then we can train farmers based on that research,” Chad said.
“We’re starting a new page of history for this farm.”
Commonwealth of Kentucky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Woody Maglinger
Kentucky Surging Forward Following Legislative Session
Op-Ed by Governor Matt Bevin
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 16, 2017) – On the first Saturday in May each year, the Kentucky Derby captures the attention and fascination of the world and creates special moments that will long be remembered. The Derby is truly unmatched as a sporting event and spectacle. A brief hush precedes the opening of the starting gate, followed by the roar of the crowd as the horses explode forward powerfully and majestically. The start to the Derby provides a powerful analogy for what we have experienced recently in our state. Thanks to an outstanding effort by the General Assembly and our administration, Kentucky is surging forward.
The 2017 legislative session was one of the most productive in Kentucky history. Much of our agenda was focused on making Kentucky a better place to do business. It should come as no surprise that the three largest economic development announcements in Kentucky history have occurred since January of this year. Amazon announced their decision to invest $1.5 billion in Northern Kentucky where they will build their Prime Air Hub. Toyota announced a $1.33 billion investment in their Georgetown facility. In April, Braidy Industries revealed their plans to invest $1.3 billion dollars in Greenup County, where they will build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill, creating 550 high-paying jobs. CEO, Craig Bouchard, made it clear during his remarks at the announcement that his company would not have considered locating here if Kentucky had not been a right-to-work state. Braidy, Amazon and others have also been very complimentary of our administration’s passion for recruiting businesses to Kentucky.
Just last week, LINAK U.S. announced a $33 million expansion that will create an additional 413 full-time jobs. That announcement follows companies like UWH, TG Automotive, Traughber, Perfetti van Melle, PuraCap Laboratories, Bulleit Distilling Company and dozens of others which have also recently announced expansions or groundbreakings in our state. These announcements are only the beginning. Like those Derby horses bursting from the gate, Kentucky’s economic expansion is just getting started. Stay tuned. There is more to come.
It is important to note, however, the recent legislative session was about much more than just the economy. For instance, bills were passed that will allow our children in failing schools to have an opportunity to learn in high quality public charter schools and, going forward, we will base higher education funding on school outcomes. Another bill will return more authority to local school boards. These bills, now signed into law, will introduce competition into our education system and will result in better outcomes for all our students. Additionally, we passed a medical review panel bill that will lower medical costs and a bill that will allow funding for apprenticeship programs.
Pro-life laws were created that more accurately reflect the values of our voters. Kentucky is overwhelmingly a pro-life state. Huge bipartisan support for the twenty-week abortion ban and the ultrasound bill reflect that. We also moved Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion provider, to the back of the line for federal funds.
An important criminal justice law was signed to help the children and families of those who have paid their debt to society. The law allows for work release, work opportunities within prison, and the earning of professional licenses. By helping incarcerated individuals train to get work ready, we reduce recidivism and give children and their parents a chance to be a family again.
We passed legislation to better ensure that our state treats foster children with the respect and dignity they deserve. Kentucky will now allow the courts the leeway to place these children with fictive kin. These are non-blood relatives with whom the child already has a loving relationship and who are willing to provide a home for the child. Likewise, foster kids can now obtain their driver’s license at the age of 16, enabling them to gain independence as they acquire the mobility needed to get to school or to a part-time job.
A new law was passed that will put much needed limits (a three day supply) on the amount of opioid pain medication that can be prescribed at one time. Medical professionals were asked for extensive input as this law was drafted. As a result, there are ample exclusions for physicians who are treating patients with cancer and chronic pain, as well as those on hospice care or who have valid need for additional pain medication.
These are merely a few highlights of all that was accomplished during the 2017 legislative session.
I love the name of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, “Always Dreaming.” That is the American way. From the beginning of our administration, we have repeatedly stated our vision for Kentucky to become the center of excellence in America for engineering and advanced manufacturing and for each of us, individually and collectively, to become the best version of ourselves. The 2017 legislative session has afforded Kentucky the opportunity to get off to a roaring start towards achieving these goals. I am confident that we will succeed, because #WeAreKY.