Growing Hemp in Minnesota

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcwerk, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi,
    I decided to start a new thread about this subject, since I couldn't
    find anything in the archives. Minnesota, thanks to Jessie Ventura,
    is one of the first states to allow experimental hemp crops and I think
    it would be a great opportunity. Hemp is like a wonder plant, with uses
    as a textile, paper, oil, etc. One day, when our politicians become
    informed on the matter and decriminalize its production, it will probably
    take off and become a very lucrative crop. I think Canada is the main
    grower now.
    Anyway, it would really help out farmers to have this resilient, and easy
    to grow crop available. Does anyone know more about this possible crop,
    and when we may be able to grow it? Is there a lobbying group that is
    trying to persuade our representatives to allow its use? Anyone know of
    the specific laws in Minnesota?
    Thanks,
    james in houston
    ps
    I hope everyone knows that I am talking about industrial hemp, and there
    is no THC or mind-altering properties in this kind of plant ;-)
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I used to live in Kansas, which was one of the main hemp-growing areas before it was made illegal. Wild hemp is still found in Kansas because it grows like a weed.

    I don't know much about what hemp the plant needs, because everybody was trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of the stuff. Nobody wanted the Feds knocking at their door.

    I think that you will find you have more trouble selling it than growing it.

    The FIRST thing I would do would be to check out the marketing possibilities. Yes, hemp WAS famous for the rope it made. But, is there a company that buys hemp? How much do they pay? Do they want to buy it in it's raw form, or do they want it processed into fiber first?
     

  3. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I was flying helicopters, we used to help the narcotics cops bust people who were "experimenting" with this crop every summer. One of the greatest summer jobs I ever had.
     
  4. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    Good Luck James - Perhaps in Minnesota you might be able to get past the neo-con attitudes that we have in the great Lone Star State. It seems that a policy of FEAR and trying to make sure everyone thinks alike is a popular past time in my part of Texas. I love the place but sometimes think that I am in the twilight zone - Austin is a pleasant exception.
     
  5. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are lots of uses for hemp, and hemp products are very popular here (Northern Illinois).

    My kids use hemp cord for making jewelry. The entire family loves hemp oil products (soap, lotion, lip balm). Hemp is a great addition to granola. Also, cloth woven from hemp is stronger and longer laster than cotton (very similar to linen). We have a friend who has a pair of hemp jeans that he has worn almost daily for the past 5 years -- and they still look good!

    So, there is definitely a demand for the stuff. Too bad the gov't interferes with a plant that is so versatile and actually helps to build soil as well.

    Just my opinionated 2 cents' worth,

    Pony!
     
  6. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't have the name of the catalogue now, but in the last year or two I've gotten a mailorder catalogue for hemp products such as bedclothes (I almost wrote linens, but that's a different plant!) soaps, lotions, cosmetics, towels, clothing etc. and every issue included a 1 page education on the difference between Cannabis and Hemp.
    Your local walmart markets a jewelry making kit in the craft section that includes hemp cord FYI
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Several farmers in Pulaski County Ind grew hemp during WW 2. It still grows wild along the banks of some of the open ditches. The Police know where most of these places are located. Every year several arrests are made of people collecting the leaves. The Police just watch for parked cars or cars with out of state plates and pick them off. Many of the pickers come from as far away as New York. Most of these poor souls have maps showing the locations of the wild hemp that they somehow had purchased.
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem with those groups supporting it: They are the loonies that don't care abot ropes from the stuff.... They do more harm than good, with them in 'support' it will never be made legal. Heck, with those loonies about I'm not in support of legalizing the stuff.

    Don't get too sold on the 'virtues' of the plant. It's a good fiber, and it grows well when you are trying to kill it as a weed. However, once under cultivation there will be plenty of disease & insect issues that harm the quality of any produce, and it will require fertilizer & all. As bad as it grows, it ends up being a weed for next year's crops.

    Look at other fiber crops in the USA. Wool is about worthless costs more to shear a sheep than you get, cotton is failing as a crop less every year. Everyone is buying synthetic ropes & fabric.... Natural fiber mills & consumption has gone overseas, ain't no one going to retool in any signifigant size in this country.

    Someone says there is demand for it - for what quantity? a few acres of the stuff to make braclets & a couple shirts? Not much of a market or demand there!

    There will always be a nitche market for it sure, but a savior for USA agriculture in the USA?

    Not hardly! Think it through.

    --->Paul
     
  9. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    i've seen a lot of wild stuff growing in WI... must be a great climate for it...
     
  10. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I was just wondering if this is not the mind altering drug plant, why is the gov so down on it. I always taught hemp was pot?


    james in houston
    ps
    I hope everyone knows that I am talking about industrial hemp, and there
    is no THC or mind-altering properties in this kind of plant ;-)
    John#4
     
  11. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    john,
    in industrial hemp the levels of THC, the drug that gives marijuana its
    mind-altering effect, are at trace amounts--you cannot get high by
    smoking this plant. but the government has a "zero tolerance" and they
    feel that if you open the door to allow industrial hemp, next people will
    be demanding the legalization of marijuana in general. i don't think it
    makes sense. when farmers across the country are looking for ways to
    stay on their farm and not lose it to creditors, why not give them another
    crop they can grow and make money? i'm sure there is a market if we can
    undercut the Canadians ;-)
    James in Houston
     
  12. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Pcwerk,

    Thank you for the info. Now I know the deference.
    As far as crops on the farm goes, If we paid the grow food crops instead of not to grow, we would not have to buy from 3terd world countries. I think the whole economy would be a lot bitter off. And it would create more jobs for Americans.
    John#4
     
  13. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of disinformation in these postings.

    Check out hemp.com
     
  14. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    You can use the google keyword, "Minnesota Statutes" and dig around in MN law. I couldn't find any reference to hemp/cannabis other than as a controlled substance and noxious weed. There is a law that allows your county noxious weed controller to come onto your property and spray wild hemp if you will not control it. It is also a noxious weed in most of southern MN and you can be fined if you let it grow on your land.

    If Jesse introduced legislation to promote hemp growing, it either didn't get passed or it has expired.

    A couple of alternatives to think about. Pasture raised, natural pork is in huge demand here. You'll be close enough to either MPLS/SP or Rochester to market it yourself or get a contract with one of the natural pork producers.

    There is also a big African/East Indian/Hispanic population in those metro areas, who eat a lot of goat meat, almost all of which is imported from New Zealand and Australia. There will be a sheep/goat slaughter plant opening in Dec. in Northfield MN. Pretty easy to pick up meat type does, bring a couple of really good Boer bucks up with you from TX and you could be in business!
     
  15. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    i think the govt should worry more about meth labs and other drugs. Doesn't make sense that if I were to make a hand cream that i would have to buy the hemp from another country. I also think if more and more americans bought as much american made product as they could, things might change weather it's food or product. I recently was in the market to buy a grain mill - i chose the hand crank american made instead of the plastic japanese/chinese made one which was cheaper.

    brural
     
  16. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I sure wouldnt grow any hemp plant unless you want your door caved in in the middle of the night.Read too many stories of police doing just that to folks raising rhododendrums or something because someone called them and said it was pot!These guys dont always bother to check out even the basics,let alone determine what kind of hemp.As for why its illegal at all,beats me.Whole thing is just a nonissue to me,waste of time,money and resources to enforce.IMHO,FWIW
    BooBoo
     
  17. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for a great link, Bruce.

    I think a lot of people are confusing the recreational plant with the industrial plant -- not hard to do when even the law enforcement agencies can't seem to make the distinction.

    Example: An acquaintance up in WI got busted for pulling up some ditchweed to use for paper making. The judge, while not throwing the book at him, still made him pay a ridiculous fine as well as doing community service. BTW, when you get busted for this, the Powers That Be weigh more than just the plant: they include the roots, any dirt clinging to the roots, etc. Shades of Reefer Madness!

    ANYway, seems to me that the laws on the books re: hemp are just another example of government and Big Industry running over the country for profit at the expense of the environment and people.

    <Pony gets down off her soap box>
     
  18. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    Strange world indeed! I have two near neighbors here in Oregon who are growing quite a few very healthy, tall, very strong smelling, THC resin concentrated, pot plants out in the open with a little sign facing up for the helicopters that says "doctor prescribed". In fact there are quite a few doing this and not a federal agent to be found???? :no: It could be that it would be very difficult to distinguish between mind altering hemp and non mind altering hemp with infrared equipment???
     
  19. bubbba

    bubbba Well-Known Member

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    Thats his medicine dude I think the last thing he needs is some feds kikckin down his door.
    I didnt want to say anything but o well I guess i will, theres many reasons hemp is illegal and in part its because its one hell of a good plant that could 1 providesome excellent food oil from the seeds 2 fibre for clothes n paper 3 biomass for energy production, hemp is a very strong insect resistant crop that grows exceedingly fast and would be great instead of all the trees we wasting nowadays and the list goes on.

    The other thing that folks should be aware of is the medicinal benifits to using the THC producing varieties of cannabis or marijuana> I am in Canada where medicinal use is legalized with your Doctors consent. Our government even grows the stuff and seels it to patients they grow it in a mine in mantitobs of all places. I use it myself, with the knowledge and approvel of my doctors to help control pain and depression from crippling arthritis pain as well to combat nausea from my other meds. I would be in w worse place if not for pot and it makes me angry and sad that the prohabition (sp) is still on in 2004.

    Many of us on this board and not to big on government interference in our lifes and frankly the war on drugs is a complete failure. The war on marijuana alone costs billions and billions a year and all that money ensures is that organized crime has an incredible source for easy money.

    Just about done my rant lol. To understand why this useless war is still goin on you need to look no further then the money trail. Follow it and you will find some of the greatest lobbiest and contributers to the anti cannabis hysteria are the Drug companies, ciggerette companies and booze companies not to mention the OIL companies they all have a vested intrest in seeing HEMP and MARIJUANA kept illegal.
     
  20. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great post Bubba! I'm sure that if enough people start expressing themselves
    to their representatives about this issue, we may start seeing the tide turn.
    The Feds were wanting to ban ANY product that contained ANY hemp, such
    as handcream, cereals, shampoo,etc. but enough people spoke-up last spring
    that they dropped the idea. There is hope!
    James in Houston (soon to be Houston, MN!)