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The state of South Carolina’s General Assembly recently legalized the farming of industrial hemp. As local newspapers quickly clarified the difference between hemp and its more popular relative marijuana, state politicians and farmers jumped for joy.

“Any agricultural crop we can cultivate here and make a profit for our farmers, we should try,” said Republican State Senator Greg Hembree.

After all, agribusiness is the No. 1 industry in the Palmetto State, so farmers are also celebrating.

South Carolina really needed this

South Carolina farmer Neal Baxley, confirmed that he is definitely interested in planting hemp on some of his available fields where “sunshine is frequent and rain is regular.”

“We’re in an economically depressed region of the state,” said Baxley “So why couldn’t South Carolina attract a new industry, something that has some growth potential? The more people who get the opportunity to get involved in agriculture, the better I think we are in the long run.”

Democratic Representative Russell Ott, co-sponsor of the bipartisan Hemp Bill, said he wouldn’t be surprised if farmers are growing hemp in the next few months.

“The bottom line is, we could have hemp being grown in South Carolina this year. And that’s exciting,” said Ott, who is also a farmer.

People are expecting South Carolina’s authorities to issue at least 20 licenses to grow crops on up to 20 acres as a pilot program, with more to be added soon.

“It’s my hope that they will act very quickly,” said State Sen. Danny Verdin, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Today, about 90 percent of the hemp used in the United States for industrial purposes is imported from China. But, it’s time to bring it back home.

One of the fastest-growing plants in the world and known as the most versatile plant on earth, hemp is used for making all manner of essential objects such as paper, textiles, cloth, biodegradable plastics, paint, biofuel—the list is long.

But, because it is part of the marijuana plant, it was declared illegal in the U.S. in 1937. The industry is just barely getting back in on its feet again, thanks to the 2014 farm bill passed under President Obama.

One of the problems about sanctioning hemp cultivation has been due to the spread of a spurious lie that large hemp fields could be used to mask weed cultivation. John Finamore, executive director of the National Hemp Association in Denver, shot that notion down.

“The last thing a marijuana grower wants to do is grow them together,” he stated, noting that hemp is the dominant of the two species and would neutralize the psychoactive compounds in marijuana.

And no one wants that.

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A recent proposal aims to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina. The bill lays out the development of a medical marijuana supply system and aims to create a program administered by the UNC system called the North Carolina Cannabis Research Program. The program would conduct studies to determine the safety and efficacy of cannabis as medical treatment and then develop guidelines for the appropriate physician administration and patient use of medical cannabis.

The political director of the marijuana advocacy group NORML, Justin Strekal, said the proposal is comprehensive and includes a long list of conditions that doctors could prescribe marijuana to treat. He stated, “Some other states have gone a much more conservative approach in terms of what they will consider marijuana to be a treatment for.” Strekal said there are states that only legalize cannabidiol, or CBD (oil derived from a strain of marijuana without psychoactive effects).

Strekal said, “The CBD-only is really great at treating the kids with refractory epilepsy, but as far as the much more holistic approach that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments, it’s important to have access to the whole plant. So, as far as medical marijuana bills go, we’re very happy with what’s being introduced in North Carolina.” But the federal administration and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been increasingly critical of states legalizing marijuana in recent months.

He recently said, “I, as you know, am dubious about marijuana. States can pass whatever laws they choose, but I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold on every corner grocery store.” Whether Sessions and the new administration will actually enforce the federal status of marijuana remains unclear. Strekal said data suggests legalization of medical marijuana could reduce opioid dependency in the state.

Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center found the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25% lower in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Strekal said, “The data is very conclusive that marijuana can be a pathway out of addiction rather a gateway in.”

Executive director of Drug Free America Foundation Inc., Calvina Fay, said she doesn’t think the proliferation of marijuana reduces drug-related deaths and overdoses. “Is there a state that has reduced their opioid problem and legalized marijuana? Yeah, I’m sure there is,” she said. “But there’s no proof that marijuana is the cause of that.”

In a speech to Virginia law enforcement in March, Sessions said marijuana proliferation will not staunch the effects of the opioid crisis. Sessions stated, “I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana; so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.”

However, criticisms of medical marijuana are outdated and not based on scientific fact, Strekal said. He stated, “To maintain the same classification of marijuana in the realm of heroin is absolutely absurd. It’s unfounded, and it’s unfathomable to deny patients access to a substance that will alleviate their suffering.”

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South Carolina Representative Eric Bedingfield used to oppose all marijuana use until his son lost a battle with opioid addiction and died from overdose. The conservative Republican co-sponsored marijuana legislation. Bedingfield recently stated, “My mindset has changed from somebody who looked down on it as a negative substance to saying, this has benefits.”

Bedingfield now believes marijuana may successfully help addicts wean themselves from a dependence on opioids. He also believes marijuana may be an alternative to prescription medications like OxyContin.

Almost twenty years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, efforts to let patients legally access marijuana are slowly taking root in the South. Out of 28 states that allow medical marijuana, only two of those states are in the south. Arkansas and Florida voters approved theirs through November’s ballot. A law signed in Louisiana last year, also not yet in effect, does not allow the vaping or smoking of marijuana.

This year’s renewed push in South Carolina is supported by some of the state’s most conservative legislators, such as Bedingfield, whose opinions have shifted due to personal losses or the pleadings of parents and pastors in their districts. Three years ago, state legislators passed a very narrow law permitting patients with severe epilepsy, or their caregivers, to legally possess cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana. Bedingfield voted against that idea.

Bill Davis, a Christian author who leads a Bible study for people fighting drug addiction, said he was bedridden before trying marijuana. Diagnosed two years ago with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease with no cure, he was put on an experimental drug with “horrible side effects.” Davis said, “I had to decide whether I wanted to die of lung disease or kidney or liver failure.” Then he started vaping marijuana, which he says allows him to control the amount of CBD and THC he receives. He said, “I’m praying this state will allow me to be treated legally for me to live” using “a plant that God made.”

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A Senate panel approved a proposal permitting South Carolina farmers to grow industrial hemp through a pilot program set up with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The proposal would create a system to regulate the growing, selling, and importation of industrial hemp in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and for study by an academic facility, such as Clemson University. Senators recently took testimony from law enforcement officials who cited issues with the Senate proposal and instead encouraged them to allow the House legislation to work its way through the system.

Executive director with the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association, Jarrod Bruder, said though law enforcement typically has concerns about industrial hemp, all parties worked together to reach a compromise in the House. The House version limits the number of farmers in the first years of the program to fifteen and allows law enforcement to do random testing of the plants to ensure marijuana is not being grown. Bruder stated, “We got to a point in the House where, I wouldn’t say we endorse it, but it got to a point where we could hold our nose and say it was good. It was something that we could live with.”

The measure passed a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee three to one, with members saying they planned to amend the proposal in the full committee to address the concerns of law enforcement. Senator Rex Rice voted against the proposal. In addition to oil, hemp can be made into products such as rope, clothing, paper, canvas, soap, and even some food and drinks, such as butter and milk. The Senate proposal is similar to one that will be going to the full House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.

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South Carolina is a state that barely allows patients access to non-intoxicating types of cannabis oil. One state lawmaker plans to change that in the 2017 session by suggesting a proposal aimed at establishing a more comprehensive medical cannabis program.

Senator Tom Davis, who is thought of one of the state’s leading forces in the push for marijuana reform, has introduced a bill called the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow patients with a variety of health conditions to purchase cannabis from state licensed dispensaries as long as they have a doctor’s approval.

Senator Davis told a group earlier this week, “If a doctor in his or her professional opinion believes that cannabis can be of a medicinal benefit to a patient for whatever reason, whether it’s epilepsy, PTSD or glaucoma or any number of things, and then why should 170 politicians in Columbia be the ones that say no?” Davis continued, “ I really think it says something about our state negatively that we do not allow doctors to make decisions that are in their patients’ best interest. I mean to me that’s not what an enlightened, concerned and caring state does.”

Davis’ bill would not give patients the freedom to engage in home cultivation, unlike similar legislation introduced by State Representative Todd Rutherford, which would give individuals with only a handful of serious conditions access to medical cannabis. Providing patients with safe medicine, while keeping a tight leash on marijuana production, is the goal of the Compassionate Care Act, according to Davis.

Last year, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said that she would be open to discussing the issue of a more comprehensive program. Reports indicate that Haley has already had several meetings with Senator Davis on the subject, but she has not signaled whether she would sign a reform of this magnitude if it lands on her desk this year.

It will first be up to the state legislature to get onboard with the concept. Last year, the South Carolina Senate voted 7 to 4 against a medical cannabis bill brought forth by Senator Davis. One thing is certain, South Carolina residents support the issue. The latest Winthrop Polls finds that 78% of the state’s citizens are in favor of medical cannabis.

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North Carolina’s Amended Hemp Bill Signed Into Law by Governor McCrory — Hemp, Inc. Reports

Hemp, Inc. ( OTC PINK : HEMP ) executives are pleased to announce that in North Carolina, home to Hemp, Inc.’s multi-purpose industrial hemp decortication facility, Governor Pat McCrory has signed into law House Bill 992, which “modifies the industrial hemp research program by clarifying the definition of research purposes and the responsibilities of licenses, creating civil and criminal penalties for violations of the industrial hemp program, and granting rule-making authority to the Industrial Hemp Commission.” The ratified bill also adds four appointees to the NC Industrial Hemp Commission. The bill, introduced on April 27, 2016, passed the House on June 14, 2016, passed the Senate on June 30, 2016 and was signed into law on July 11, 2016.

North Carolina now has new regulations for its commission tasked with overseeing the state’s industrial hemp research program. According to the NC General Assembly, the amended bill increased the five-member Industrial Hemp Commission to nine members and has widened the Commission’s power to write and approve rules for regulating and overseeing research into industrial hemp in the state. Before the amendment, the Commission was limited to only proposing rules.

David Schmitt, COO of Hemp, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Industrial Hemp Manufacturing, LLC, said, “The Commission now has the power to write the rules and approve them. What this means for Hemp, Inc. and its industrial hemp decortication facility, here in Spring Hope, is that we’ll be able to possibly grow and harvest a very large hemp crop in the Spring of 2017 on up to 50,000 acres and process it at our plant. This provides unlimited, lucrative business opportunities for the company. While Hemp, Inc.’s Industrial Hemp Manufacturing (IHM) is readily available to assist the Commission with industry expertise, we expect Congress to remove industrial hemp from the Federal Controlled Substances Act very soon, thus declassifying it as a Schedule 1 drug because it’s not. Hemp is a plant from the cannabis family like marijuana but possesses a very low THC content and you cannot get high by smoking it. Hemp is not marijuana. It can be used in the paper, textiles and plastics industries and has thousands of other uses.”

With Hemp, Inc.’s 70,000 square foot commercial industrial hemp processing facility, on 9 acres of land nearing completion, company executives are exploring all revenue generating possibilities while they continue to implement Hemp, Inc.’s business model strategies. The ratified bill contains 11 specific purposes for conducting industrial hemp production in the state, which opens more doors for hemp producers and manufacturers. The eleven specific purposes are:

1. Studying and investigating marketplace opportunities for hemp products to increase the job base in the State by means of employment related to the production of industrial hemp.

2. Studying and investigating methods of industrial hemp cultivation that are best suited to soil conservation and restoration.

3. Overseeing and analyzing the growth of industrial hemp by licensed growers for agronomy research and analysis of required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods relating to the production of various varieties of industrial hemp that may be suitable for various commercial hemp products.

4. Conducting seed research on various types of industrial hemp that are best suited to be grown in North Carolina, including seed availability, creation of North Carolina hybrid types, and in-the-ground variety trials and seed production. The Commission may establish a program to recognize certain industrial hemp seeds as being North Carolina varieties of hemp seed.

5. Studying the economic feasibility of developing an industrial hemp market in various types of industrial hemp that can be grown in the State, including by commercial marketing and sale of industrial hemp.

6. Reporting on the estimated value-added benefits, including environmental benefits, to North Carolina businesses of an industrial hemp market of North Carolina-grown industrial hemp varieties.

7. Studying the agronomy research being conducted worldwide relating to industrial hemp varieties, production, and use.

8. Researching and promoting on the world market industrial hemp and hemp seed that can be grown in the State.

9. Promoting research into the development of industrial hemp and commercial markets for North Carolina industrial hemp and hemp products.

10. Studying the feasibility of attracting federal or private funding for the North Carolina industrial hemp research program.

11. Studying the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies, including electricity generation, biofuels, or other forms of energy resources; the growth of industrial hemp on reclaimed mine sites; the use of hemp seed oil in the production of fuels; and the production costs, environmental issues, and costs and benefits involved with the use of industrial hemp for energy.

To read the full bill, click here.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. ( OTC PINK : HEMP ) said, “I have already signed an agreement to partner with Agri-Tech Farms to grow a hemp crop this year in Nevada, but I’m especially looking forward to growing hemp in North Carolina and it looks as though it will be sooner than later. We were already successful with 420 acres of Kenaf in Spring Hope.”

Kenaf (hibiscus cannabinus) is an annual, non-wood fiber plant that is indigenous to central Africa. Kenaf is a plant in the Malvaceae family also called Deccan hemp and Java jute. It has been likened to okra and cotton and typically grows 12 to 18 feet tall in a six-month growing season. The raw fiber has been known to grow well in many parts of the United States and has been considered an eco-friendlier way to make paper without cutting down trees.

Perlowin continued, “After the Kenaf harvest, that crop should yield over 4,000,000 pounds so we’re really looking forward to a successful and lucrative hemp crop in 2017.”

Hemp, Inc. would like to thank the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association for tirelessly petitioning to create the North Carolina hemp bill and helping to get it passed and helping with the final ratified bill that is now law in North Carolina. Hemp, Inc., as well as all the future hemp farmers in North Carolina, owes a great debt of gratitude to this organization. At the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association, many initiatives are in progress to help speed the cultivation and use of industrial hemp. To join the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association, click here.

Hemp, Inc. would also like to thank the National Hemp Association (NHA) and Vote Hemp. The National Hemp Association has developed close relationships with local and state government agencies to establish regulations that benefit the hemp industry across the nation. Vote Hemp works to shift federal regulation of industrial hemp farming out of the hands of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and get hemp farming regulated on the state level. Vote Hemp also works to defend against any new laws, regulations or policies that would prohibit or restrict hemp commerce or imports. To join the National Hemp Association, click here. To contribute to Vote Hemp, click here.

Bruce Perlowin said, “While I cannot say for sure, I strongly believe that industrial hemp will be either declassified or removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule 1 drug list because you cannot get high from it. Hemp is not marijuana. It is through the tireless efforts, in some cases for decades, of lobbying, educating and spreading the word about industrial hemp that this will happen and we want to acknowledge not only the organizations mentioned above but countless others along with the hundreds or possibly thousands of people and activists who have done the same thing that these larger organizations have done. It is for that reason Hemp, Inc. has been aggressively building the infrastructure for its multi-purpose industrial hemp processing plant long before anybody else and has thus established itself as a premier company for hemp processing, hemp cultivation and soon-to-be CBD production as well as a premier company for other raw materials and products that can be made from industrial hemp. We will continue building this infrastructure and working with others in the hemp industry to move towards a new clean, green, American, agricultural, and industrial revolution on industrial hemp.”

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL HEMP ASSOCIATION

Through education we believe that the law of our state can be changed to allow the growing, processing, and sale of Hemp and Hemp products within North Carolina in a responsible manner. Through education, dedication and fundraising, North Carolina can be accelerated to the forefront of global growth in Industrial and Medicinal Hemp. North Carolina can and should lead the country in cultivation, processing and support the consumption of hemp’s many beneficial products. Hemp was, for almost 200 years, a legal and fundamental crop in North Carolina and should be again. Farmers should be able to grow and consumers buy Hemp products grown and processed in our state. Visit www.ncindhemp.org for more information.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL HEMP ASSOCIATION

The National Hemp Association’s (NHA) mission is to support the growth and development of all aspects of the industrial hemp industry. This is accomplished by educating and informing the public about the health, environmental, and economic benefits of reviving an industry that has been prohibited for over seventy years; building a community of individuals, businesses and organizations to facilitate the growth of the industry; and, working collaboratively with industry, government officials, and the scientific community to create and implement industrial hemp standards, certifications and regulations. NHA firmly believes that American industry is trending towards bio-sustainability and hemp plays a critical role in the establishment of a new economic paradigm and is dedicated to shifting the perception of hemp as being an alternative crop to a mainstream commodity. To join the National Hemp Association, click here. To donate to the National Hemp Association, click here.

ABOUT VOTE HEMP

Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for industrial hemp, low-THC oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to grow the crop. Our ultimate goal is having hemp grown on a commercial scale in the U.S. once again and for the crop to be able to be processed here as well. We educate people on the issues surrounding hemp, register voters, and build coalitions to fulfill our mission. To contribute to Vote Hemp, click here.

SUBSCRIBE TO HEMP, INC.’S VIDEO UPDATES

“Hemp, Inc. Presents” is capturing the historic, monumental re-creation of the hemp decorticator today as America begins to evolve into a cleaner, green, eco-friendly sustainable environment. What many see as the next American Industrial Revolution is actually the Industrial Hemp Revolution. Join “Hemp, Inc. Presents” and join the hemp revolution.

Watch as Hemp, Inc., the #1 leader in the industrial hemp industry, engages its shareholders and the public through each step in bringing back the hemp decorticator as described in the “Freedom Leaf Magazine” article “The Return of the Hemp Decorticator” by Steve Bloom. Freedom Leaf Magazine, ( OTC PINK : FRLF ) a leading cannabis industry magazine is published by the public company, Freedom Leaf Magazine, Inc. “Hemp, Inc. Presents” is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by visiting www.hempinc.com. To subscribe to the “Hemp, Inc. Presents” YouTube channel, be sure to click the subscribe button.

Subscribers will automatically get an email from YouTube every time a new Hemp, Inc. video update is posted along with suggestions of other similar videos. Stay up-to-date with the progress of Hemp, Inc.’s multipurpose industrial hemp processing plant while being educated on the industrial hemp industry. Our video update views are collectively reaching over a thousand views per week. Stay informed by subscribing to Hemp, Inc.’s video updates. Hemp, Inc. is positioning itself to be the avant-garde of the industrial hemp industry and processing industrial hemp.

ABOUT INDUSTRIAL HEMP

Hemp is a durable natural fiber that is grown as a renewable source for raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products. It’s one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man. Hemp is used as a nutritional food product for humans and pets, building materials, paper, textiles, cordage, organic body care and other nutraceuticals, just to name a few. It has thousands of other known uses. A hemp crop requires half the water alfalfa uses and can be grown without the heavy use of pesticides.

Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products. The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop on a large scale, according to the Congressional Resource Service. However, with rapidly changing laws and more states gravitating towards industrial hemp and passing an industrial hemp bill, that could change. Currently, the majority of hemp sold in the United States is imported from China and Canada, the world’s largest exporters of the industrial hemp crop.

ABOUT INDUSTRIAL HEMP AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA CONSULTING COMPANY (IHMMCC)

This lucrative division of Hemp, Inc. is once again picking up momentum. The Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana Consulting Company (IHMMCC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hemp, Inc. that pulls industry information from a vast network of specialists. IHMMCC is entrenched primarily in all the multi-faceted opportunities of the Industrial Hemp industry while also maintaining professional contacts in the medical marijuana sector. As the country transitions to embrace more sustainable agricultural practices, public and private companies want to expand into the industrial hemp industry and consulting services from IHMMCC are helping them in leading the way.

ABOUT PAZOO, INC.

Pazoo, Inc. is a company whose focus is to provide best-in-class laboratory testing of cannabis and cannabinoids to protect consumers from impurities, contaminants and other irregularities. Through our wholly owned subsidiaries, Harris Lee and MA & Associates, Pazoo provides industry-leading laboratory testing of cannabis throughout the United States. Pazoo is licensed to test cannabis in Colorado and Nevada, with a focus on expansion into other states. Additionally, our newly formed wholly owned subsidiary CK Distribution LLC, provides the marketing and sales agent for the distribution of non-controlled hemp products throughout the USA. Non-controlled hemp products are the items utilized by the industry that support grow facilities, infusion companies and dispensaries. Pazoo is operational and growing quickly with expansion of its testing labs into more states coming in the near term. With the recent consolidation of convertible notes, the prospect for big increases in share valuation are very promising with the big increases in quickly expanding revenue and fundamental values of Pazoo.

ABOUT GREEN CURES AND BOTANICAL DISTRIBUTION INC.

Green Cures and Botanical Distribution Inc. is a development stage company that wholesales and retails hemp-infused nutritional, botanical, sports, and body care products. The company is currently Web-based and focuses on online retailing. Green Cures and Botanical Distribution Inc., operates a diverse portfolio of products and services within the botanical and cannabis industry, as permitted by law. From concept to production and distribution, Green Cures and Botanical Distribution Inc., is continuously creating and introducing products that promote a healthy life style. Icon Beverages will make up the beverage division of GRCU which will feature celebrity iconic notables who are recognized worldwide. Any industry companies interested should contact GRCU at http://gcbdinc.com.

ABOUT FUTURELAND CORP

FutureLand Corp., a Colorado company, is a cannabis and hemp specialty zoned land leasing company formed to capitalize upon the emerging global cannabis market. FutureLand ( OTC PINK : FUTL ) focuses on target acquisition, zoning, license fulfillment, site plan preparation and financing of cannabis or hemp grow facilities throughout the United States. We give growers the opportunity to grow. We monetize through leasing the land, leasing the structures on the land, financing interest revenue and management fees associated with cultivation centers. FutureLand retains ownership of all the land and the structures. FutureLand leases to both medical marijuana, retail marijuana as well as industrial hemp growers. FutureLand does not currently grow, distribute or sell marijuana. To request further information about FutureLand, please email us at info@futurelandcorp.com, log onto our website at http://www.futurelandcorp.com, or visit us on FB @ futurelandcorp and Twitter @futurelandcorp.

HEMP, INC.’S TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

Hemp, Inc. ( OTC PINK : HEMP ) seeks to benefit many constituencies from a “Cultural Creative” perspective, thereby not exploiting or endangering any group. CEO of Hemp, Inc., Bruce Perlowin, is positioning the company as a leader in the industrial hemp industry, with a social and environmental mission at its core. Thus, the publicly traded company believes in “up streaming” a portion of its profits back to its originator, in which some cases will one day be the American small farmer — cultivating natural, sustainable products as an interwoven piece of nature. By Hemp, Inc. focusing on comprehensive investment results — that is, with respect to performance along the interrelated dimensions of people, planet, and profits — the triple bottom line approach can be an important tool to support its sustainability goal.

SOCIAL NETWORKS:
http://www.twitter.com/hempinc (Twitter)
http://www.facebook.com/hempinc (Facebook)

SAFE HARBOR ACT

Forward-Looking Statements are included within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements regarding our expected future financial position, results of operations, cash flows, financing plans, business strategy, products and services, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations, including words such as “anticipate,” “if,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “will,” and other similar expressions are forward-looking statements and involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance, or achievements. We are under no obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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On Thursday, South Carolina Senators voted 7-4 against a bill that would have made a protected and available medical cannabis program in the state. As indicated by WLTX, the bill would have allowed doctors to endorse therapeutic marijuana to patients experiencing debilitating restorative conditions, for example, cancer, glaucoma and chronic pain.

“This is something that is providing real relief to people who are suffering,” the main sponsor of the bill, Senator Tom Davis, told the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.

In any case, Davis was not able to influence his kindred committee members, a considerable bunch of whom stood opposed to the bill because of the likelihood of legal medical cannabis advancing into reproducing hands.

“Back in my district, every single medical professional that contacted me about this bill is against it,” Sen. Kevin Johnson stated. “And they explained to me why and they made some very valid points. And then all my law enforcement people in my district are against this bill.”

“This is a bad idea,” Sen. Mike Fair concluded. “It’s a pathway to recreational usage.”

Be that as it may, as indicated by Davis, the bill was composed with safety measures set up to avert such “recreational usage,” including a seed-to-sale tracking system. While most unquestionably a misfortune for medical cannabis in the state, the Senate’s dismissal does not imply that medical marijuana is totally off the table. A similar bill that is presently in the South Carolina House is giving cannabis activists trust.

“We’re not completely dead-in-the-water yet because there is a companion bill in the House that has also already passed subcommittee,” explained Jill Swing, the mother of an eight-year-old who takes CBD oil to reduce seizures. “So, I think what we do is go over to the House side and try to get them to push the bill from over there.”

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North Carolina might soon have a new crop to begin growing: hemp. A law passed by state legislatures has opened North Carolina up into growing industrial hemp. This would benefit the state because of more jobs and opportunities.

“North Carolina being such an agricultural state, it just makes sense,” Davidson Co. State Sen. Stan Bingham, stated.

Bingham has been hoping for industrial hemp in North Carolina for a long time. The issue has been, though, that when many people think of hemp, they think of marijuana. However, those that know about the hemp industry know that the differences are tremendous. The main one is that Hemp can not get you high while marijuana cannot. Now, though, North Carolina farmers will have a chance to grow and sell the product.

“No one is making money growing tobacco,” Thomas Shumaker, with the NC Industrial Hemp Association, said. “No one is making money growing soybeans. No one is making money growing corn this year. Hemp is a crop that our farmers can grow, and it’s an alternative.”

During the last days of 2015’s legislative session, lawmakers proposed and approved a law that states that industrial hemp production would be legalized in North Carolina. There are many more things to do to make sure that the production is in line with federal laws, but this is a huge first step for the industry.

“Thomas Jefferson is quoted that anywhere tobacco grows well, hemp will grow well,” Shumaker stated.

Before being prohibited, North Carolina was on top of the hemp industry. It is ready to try to be on top of the industry once again. Also, with more than 25,000 uses for the plant, from textiles to food, advocates say the market could be huge.

This past Friday Pat McCrory cleaned his office of the bills that have been waiting for action since the legislature adjourned one month ago, signing nine of bills and letting two become law without his signature.
The pair of bills that he worries about will legalize cultivating industrial hemp in North Carolina, limit the terms of the UNC Board of Governors and amend the process of hiring a president for the university system.
Friday was the last day for him to act on the bills.

McCrory issued a descriptive explanation of his decision to allow the hemp legislation, Senate Bill 313, to become law without his support. “We want to get this right.”
However the hemp plant stems from marijuana and looks similar, and it lacks THC which is the active ingredient that makes marijuana a recreational drug.

The governor pushed for the legislature to take a closer observation at the regulatory requirements.
McCrory lashed out at the General Assembly about SB670, the UNC Board of Governors bill over how it was dealt with.
“I have concerns with legislation claiming to provide transparency being passed in the dead of night and waning days of a session,” McCrory stated.
Although limiting board members to three terms, the new law needs the board to consider at least three finalists when it hires a president of the UNC system. McCrory’s statement called for further talk about how best to make the hiring process transparent.

“We have many years until the next search and, therefore, ample opportunity to debate the effect of this legislation,” he stated.

McCrory signed nine bills on Friday, including three at a ceremony at the Charlotte Fire Department Headquarters that will benefit the families of first responders, veterans, and the National Guard.Senate Bill 37 extends a waiver of tuition for the UNC and community college systems to children whose legal guardians or custodians who died or were fully disabled while serving as police, firefighters, volunteer firefighters or rescue squad workers.

House Bill 709 expands eligibility for the state National Guard tuition assistance program to include those enrolled in a graduate certificate program.
House Bill 558 Expands the N.C. Military Affairs Commission by two members, who represent the National Guard or the military reserves.
Other bills signed into law Friday:

Senate Bill 698 — Allows hospitals to avoid going through a certification process again if they have closed within the past six months were already licensed and primarily provide physician services to in-patients.
The hospital in Belhaven, about 140 miles east of Raleigh, is in that position after a company took it over in 2011 and then closed it in July. Community leaders have lined up financing from a federal loan and are trying to re-open it as soon as possible.

Senate Bill 524 — Authorizes a pilot sports program for students with disabilities, and highlights instruction in the founding principles of the country.
House Bill 126 — Authorizes a registration system for those who process or underwrite residential mortgage loans.
House Bill 8 — Adds political party labels on ballots for N.C.
House Bill 215 — Establishes a procedure for defendants in criminal cases who want to waive their right to a jury trial and let a judge decide the case. Voters approved the change last year.
House Bill 327 — Conforms state law to new national standards for emergency medical personnel.

Farmers in North Carolina could possibly be the competition other farmers are intimated by within the worldwide hemp market, assuming Gov. Pat McCrory signs it soon than later. The cultivation of industrial hemp as opposed to just importing and processing it for use in derivative products, would be legal in North Carolina under NC Senate Bill 313 which initially was in reference to license plates and registers of deeds until a subsequent addition by sponsor Rep. Jeff Collins
(R, Nash County).

In the event that the bill does become successful, an Industrial hemp commission will be put to work managing statewide pilot programs to oversee the inaugural cohort of people who cultivate commercially and researchers of the versatile crop, which is utilized to develop many products.

Currently, the rules and regulations in the state of North Carolina remained in the dark on the subject even as other Southern State governments accommodated the controversial crop. As of now, 20 states have adopted Farm Bill with compliant rules and regulations to accommodate cultivation under varying circumstances.

If signed into law, North Carolina’s new bill will need the formation of an industrial hemp commission to manage the state’s pilot program. The commission will grant paid permits, establish a reporting system for cultivators and ensure cooperation with federal law.

With news like this that potentially can act as a catalyst for marijuana companies such as Stevia Corp. (STEV) CANV, CannaVEST Corp. or most notably Hemp Inc. (HEMP) who already has production facilities ready to go could present a promising future for the industrial hemp industry in North Carolina.

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