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Newsclips Hempzels In the News Media

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 - 

Marijuana Radio Interview 2008

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January 22, 2008 I was asked to participate in an internet radio interview on Marijuana Radio -

discussion was why is hemp illegal, confusion by design through the political process..{auto}Hempzels.xml{/auto}

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

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;

 

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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.

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