Interview at the bakery with owner of Hempzels

Interview in 2009 at the bakery for Sourdough Hempzels Hard Pretzels.

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I was featured in the Lancaster County New Era in 1997 - 20 years ago at the ECO-AG Conference in the Lancaster Host Resort - a little bit of history - more to be added near the end - 

Industrial Hemp Bill SB50 out of Committee

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FOX 43 -

Tuesday 10/27/15 Senator Schwank's committee passed the Indusrial Hemp Act;  Fox 43

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Shawn House stands at the bottom of the Pennsylvania Capitol steps with a smile on his face and an empty bag of pretzels in his hands. "Hempzel's Pretzels," he says. "It's a mix of hemp and pretzels." It's also completely legal. House, who runs the Lancaster Trading Company and it's Hempzel's Pretzels brand, uses industrial hemp in his products every day. The hemp he uses comes from the same cannabis species as the more familiar drug, and the plant it grows from looks similar to the drug, but it contains minimal doses of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance which leads to the high marijuana smokers feel. "Knowledge is powerful," Shawn says. "Just because you have seed, doesn't mean you have weed."

Read more: Industrial Hemp Bill SB50 out of Committee

ABC 27 News, House of Representatives passes bill out of committee

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Thanks to Representatives Russ Diamond (Hershey, PA) Republican a bill to legalize hemp is out of committee, ABC News 27 drove down to Hempzels HQ to get my opinion about this.

From the ABC News Website " A black and white picture from Hanover, Pennsylvania circa 1908 shows a farmer harvesting his field of hemp. Thirty years later, it was illegal to grow the plant. “Hemp was grown in Pennsylvania for hundreds of years and all of sudden, in the reefer madness craze of the 1930s, it got taken off the availability for farmers, so we are going to try and bring it back here in Pennsylvania,” state Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) said. Diamond introduced House Bill 967 to create a pilot program for industrial hemp research. The plant could be grown in special programs under the Department of Agriculture and at universities. “It puts us in line with over two dozen other states who have already done this,” Diamond said.

“We can grow it right here and make our farmers wealthy again.”

“I think there is great potential to create jobs, protect the environment, and buy American hemp,” said Shawn House, CEO of Lancaster Trading House Inc. House sells hemp products, but he has to import the hemp from Canada.

“My company’s goal has always been to contract with Pennsylvania regional farmers,” he said. “We will never stop dealing with our Canadian counterparts because of the volume, but we definitely want it for the seed, for the nutritional aspect, to eat and to use in our soft pretzels, sour dough pretzels, and mustard.”

His only concern is limiting who can grow it. “We definitely want to make sure that it is open up to all universities,” House said. “I think that will inspire the kids to get back involved with agriculture.” House BIll 967 passed out of committee unanimously and is headed to the House floor for a vote. “We can grow it right here and make our farmers wealthy again,” Diamond said.


After the filming, I asked Kendra Nichols the ultimate professional reporter about what she thought;

 

Hemp Backers Say Industrial Hemp Has Economic Benefits - CPBJ

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Lancaster County businessman Shawn Patrick House is a long-time proponent of the legalization of hemp farming in Pennsylvania. House’s Columbia-based Lancaster Trading House Inc. produces two hemp-based product lines that include pretzels, mustard, granola bars, nut butter and jams.Lancaster County businessman Shawn Patrick House wants to believe the latest legislative effort to legalize hemp farming in Pennsylvania will succeed.But he's been fighting long enough to know it's probably a long shot. Under Senate Bill 50 — introduced by Sens. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) — the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp would be allowed as part of a research program at a college or university.But he's been fighting long enough to know it's probably a long shot. Under Senate Bill 50 — introduced by Sens. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) — the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp would be allowed as part of a research program at a college or university.

“It is just an opportunity for our farmers to keep their land and to grow a profitable crop,” said House, who produces hemp-based products.The potential profits are significant.Canadian farmers are reporting net profits of $200 to $250 per acre of hemp, the Agricultural Marketing Resource Board reported. U.S. Department of Agriculture data puts 2014 profits from an acre of corn or soybeans at $365 and $288, respectively.

An Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development report estimates gross revenue for Canadian hemp seed production between $30.75 million and $34 million. In 2010, exports of Canadian hemp seed and hemp products were valued at more than $10 million.The obvious hurdle is perception, of course. Hemp is the distant sister of cannabis, although supporters say hemp has none of marijuana's mind-altering qualities.“Industrial hemp does not have a psychoactive effect. The THC level is less than 0.03 percent,” Folmer said. “Misconceptions are withholding Pennsylvania from an opportunity for our agricultural and business industries to thrive.”Given the legal go-ahead, farmers could benefit from the demand for hemp in products ranging from paper to fuel and clothing to biodegradable plastics, said Schwank, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.

The federal 1937 Marijuana Tax Act restricted industrial hemp production. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act made hemp illegal, although the 2014 Farm Bill loosened production restrictions.“We need to get on board with this,” Schwank said during a recent conference call. “After all, 200 years ago it was a pretty prominent crop in Pennsylvania.”

Growing business  House began making hemp-enriched cosmetics, such as lotions and soaps, in the late 1990s. In 2005, he incorporated as Lancaster Trading House Inc. His product lines fall under two businesses: Hempzels, which includes soft pretzels, mustard and protein powder; and Natalie's Choice, which sells his granola bars, nut butter and jams. 

All are made from hemp, House said. While he doesn't have a physical store, House sells online and at shows such as the Pennsylvania Farm Show. His mustard is on Wegmans' shelves. “It's slow and steady, and my business continues to expand at a nice pace,” he said. “The soft pretzel is the winner. That's going to be my thing that doubles and triples my sales.”  But House said he is tired of fighting to educate the public and politicians that hemp does not equal marijuana. Experts estimate a person has to smoke about 20 times the amount of hemp in order to reach the high state achieved with cannabis, according to the website Hempethics.com.As a food product, hemp is touted for its health benefits because it is packed with essential fatty acids and is rich in vitamin E. Supporters say hemp is a more-durable material that makes better clothes.

New Holland Agriculture makes equipment that processes hemp for grain or fiber and sells it to foreign farmers, House said.“The research has been done for hemp,” he added. “We have equipment manufacturers who are selling equipment to the Europeans and the Canadians.” 

Read more: Hemp Backers Say Industrial Hemp Has Economic Benefits - CPBJ

Lancaster New Interview 2004

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An interesting article from January 2004 interviewed while setting up at the Pennsylvania Farm Show - nice article but some of the quotes are not correct. I didn't say hemp was a "billion dollar crop" in Lancaster County but had shown the reporter the article from Popular Mechanics 1937 calling hemp the "New Billion Dollar Crop" - pictured is the old labelsf for Sourdough Hempzel Pretzels.

 

Students Compete for pretzel design

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My selection as best design for Hempzels Soft Pretzel box - a class effort at Lancaster School of Arts (more information will be added to this for student & teachers name) great concept, unfortunately nothing was produced from this effort. These are the 2 top winners out of 13 submissions.

Pretzels With a Twist Local News July 28 2003

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  July 28, 2003 - Business Monday. Taken inside the warehouse of the Red Rose Trading Company downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Pre downtown Baseball Park in Lancaster City. Jane believed in what I was doing and provided a place for me to continue building a business. RRT still packs the hemp seed in an Organic Certified - Lancaster County Kosher Certified - Solar & Radiant heated.

Page 2

Natural foods Merchandiser Retailers Left hanging

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Quoted early 2003 when Hempzels was a signature to the suit against the DEA sponsored by Dr. Bronners Soaps & other HiA members who were being hurt by this un Constitutional way of trying to ban a legitimate natural right. Below - during a rally throughout the US sponsored by Dr. Bronners & the Hemp Industries Assocation we gave samples and ralled in front of the DEA regional offices that hemp foods were not going to get people high. Hempzels has been a signator of TestPledge since 2001.

LA Times Article About Hemp Ban 2003

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2003 - April Published earlier I got a call from an Los Angeles Times newspaper reporter during the time that we were raising a ruckus about this arbitrary rule, the DEA was telling us to get rid of our hemp seed. We shipped out some Sourdough Hempzels & here it is in part of the article. 

HempCar Pioneers Grayson & Kellie Sigler Hempzelized on the way to 13,000 miles on hemp bio diesel fuel pre-911

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Wow - thanks to Ron Harper & friends for taping a small event held July 2001 - 3 months before 911, on Steve Groffs famous No-til farm in Southern Lancaster County Pennsylvania. I met Grayson & Kellei Sigler at an event in Washington DC & encouraged them to come up to Hempfield Township Pennsylvania. They were just as upset about the possibilaty of banning hemp foods Here is some rough footage of me greeting the car as it pulled in & tuned down. Kelly & Grayson also speak about their journey - they ultimately went over their 13,000 mile goal & traveled around the US & through Canada coming back to Washington DC - visit more at www.hempcar.org - Pictured below Maggie a friend of the Burkholder hemp fans - Hempzels didn't supply $$ to the event, just time, connections, inspiration and motivation on their journey of 13,000 miles. I am happy to have played a small part in this historic event PRE 911 world. Download their flyer

The hemp car arrives at Steve Groffs No-Til Farm - Shawn meet's the car & Grayson & Kelli Zeigler tell us about this journey - PRE - 911....

Hemp Car

 Shawn's introduction speech -

 

2nd Lancaster County Hemp Meetings at Yoders

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This was the 2nd event - the year before I had invited Robert Rex of the Friendly Chameleon Paper Company to speak to the farmers - this event I was honored John Howell came down and Jean Laprise - that year the President of New Holland Ford provided $100 to offset my cost - he couldn't attend but sent his top 2 engineers who listened to Kennex Jean's Laprise talk about using modified John Deere equipment to harvest their hemp. That's changed in 2015.

 

New Twist For An Old Treat - Hempzels 2nd Place winner 1999 Ralph Amato

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RIP - Ralph Amato - I met him in 1997 he came down to introduce himself after seeing the article I was in at the Eco-Ag Conference by Acres USA - I worked with him as Hempzels(tm) was being introduced - later I would set my office up in his shared space at Faye Diesel in New Holland, Pennsylvania. I purchased the business from Ralph in the process of when the company was being subpoened from the attempt to ban hemp foods. RIP Ralph I think about you often, I found this article in the archives, more to come.

Hemp Meetings First One at Yoder's Restaurant 1999

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One of two meetings held in Lancaster County at Yoder's Restaurant - this is when my office was at Faye Diesel's on Main Street in Blue Ball - I now owned Hempzels & No Problem Inc, I put ads in the Lancaster County Farming Paper and invited farmers and interested parties to hear speakers. This article will document what was done as more information is dug up from the archives.. This first meeting we I had Robert Rex of the Friendly Chameleon address the farmers, Bryn B, Jim & Les Stark helped out - still looking for more documents.

Agenda Brochure:

Pequea Silver Mine Project Feast

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New Signs Of Hemp A Nod To Its History hempzel's event

Debbie Frantz was a big supporter of mine, hemp and offered her former health food store - It's Only Natural? - that we could hold a feast news conference before the Silver mine hemp project (disaster :)

Conestoga Wagon Hempzels

 That was a big tent to rent, thanks to Tom Grassell, Jim and other trustees who came down to the Pequea Township Meeting when the supervisors where going to deny the permit - 

 

Hemp Heals Music Fest 2012 Shawn of Hempzels Speaks

<p> Off the cuff I was honored to be one of the speakers for the East Coast Hemp Heals Event instigated by Riles Cote a former Philadelphia Flyer - the "Enforcer" who is a firm believer in hemp for healing. My talk to the crowd - thanks Les Stark for capturing this moment in 2012 - I spoke again in 2013 - if you have a copy - contact us. Thanks.

Pittsburgh Farm To Table WPXI Hempzelized.

It's nice to get noticed in Pittsburgh - they do have Westmoreland County & Hempfield Township also - WPXI TV News Radio came out to ask me why come to Pittsburgh? So I Hempzelized them - they liked the products and the story and the motive - let our farmers have the opportunity to grow hemp if they so choose. - Another part of the Just Say Know campaign and seeds got planted, folks got satisfied and we'll be coming back again in March.

 

Hempfield, PA Weather

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Italian Hemp Growing

 A great set of original postcards a series 1 through 10 in growing hemp via Italy.

Hempstone Heritage Read More

 

signed by the author 

Our Hemp Seed Needs

Hemp plus pretzels - doesn't it make more sense to buy local? - We are committed. Hemp Seed, Hemp Flour, Hemp Oil for good foods.