State’s First Industrial Hemp License Goes To A Southern Oregon Man

OREGON:  A man who was issued the first state permit to grow industrial hemp said he and a nonprofit group of growers and activists hope to plant a 25-acre field in Southwest Oregon this spring.

Edgar Winters, of Eagle Point, Ore., who describes himself as director of the Oregon Agriculture Food & Rural Consortium, acknowledged there are problems obtaining seeds for planting and other complications, but said he is optimistic. Winters also said warehousing and processing facilities will be ready to go when a crop is harvested in late summer.

“We are in position to do 40 tons a day at our processing mill,” Winters said. “We’ve got our ducks in a row.”

Getting seed to plant is one of the major hurdles. Importing it requires the approval of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are working with the DEA on that process. In addition, Winters said a major Canadian hemp company, Hemp Textiles International, has breeders’ rights to its seed and will not allow Oregon growers to retain seed for planting. Meanwhile, the existing state statute requires hemp seed produced in Oregon to be replanted.


Hemp Seeds Seized At US-Canada Border In Latest Challenge To Fledgling Industry

NORTH DAKOTA: Hundreds of pounds of industrial hemp seeds bound from Canada to Colorado have been seized by federal authorities in North Dakota, marking the latest bump along the road to legalization of marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin.

At the center of the dispute is hemp activist Tom McClain. Armed with a copy of last year’s federal Farm Bill, which allowed states to permit hemp cultivation for research and development, he set off for MacGregor, Manitoba, and bought 350 pounds of seeds used to grow a strain known as X-59 or Hemp Nut.

Hemp is legal in Canada, and North Dakota is one of 15 states with laws that allow limited hemp production. However, under the Farm Bill, importing hemp seeds requires permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

McClain’s seeds were confiscated Saturday at the border crossing in Hansboro, North Dakota, after he says he declared the seven bags in his trunk. McClain, however, has not been charged with a crime.