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Farm Bill Legislation May Springboard Federal Hemp Acceptance

CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: The United States House passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which will redefine subsidies to farmers, nutritional welfare recipients, conservationists and others. Tucked into this bill of more than 1,000 pages is hemp legalization legislation supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Demand – and thus farming revenue – for tobacco is waning, and McConnell says hemp farming could help bolster farming communities in his home state of Kentucky and across the country. Currently listed as a controlled substance under federal law, the new bill will declassify hemp as a schedule 1 drug and label it as a viable agricultural commodity. Through its hempSMART™ subsidiary, Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA) (MCOA Profile) is one example of a few companies currently providing consumers hemp plant-based products under the rubric of existing laws, and the company has undertaken broad-based legal hemp cultivation programs. Other companies that could feel the ripples of change in the space are Isodiol International, Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F), CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI), Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA), and Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTC: LXRP) (LXRP Profile).

Hemp’s History

Archaeological evidence reveals that for over 10,000 years hemp has been used by humans for pottery, shoes, ropes, clothing, food, medicine, and a wide array of other applications. Since early populations ingested hemp seeds, it stands to reason they also discovered the medicinal properties found in the plant. Ancient Asia, Egypt, India, Greece and the Islamic world all have rich histories relating to medicinal cannabis. In the 19th century, cannabinoids gained popularity for therapeutic use in Western medicine, but regulatory efforts imposed strictures during the 20th Century, eventually leading to a ban on its use in the U.S. under federal drug controls because of hemp’s relation to its more drug-user-friendly cannabis counterpart, marijuana. But, in recent years, society has turned to modern science to substantiate anecdotal claims about the therapeutic efficacy of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) found in the hemp plant.

“I know there are farming communities all over the country who are interested in this,” McConnell told the Senate Agriculture Committee amid debate over his bill. “Mine are particularly interested in it, and the reason for that is — as all of you know — our No. 1 cash crop used to be something that’s really not good for you: tobacco. And that has declined significantly, as it should, given the public health concerns.”

The federal government has exhibited schizophrenic regulatory tendencies toward hemp since the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that quashed hemp production with exorbitant excise taxes.  Reversing course during WWII, the government urged farmers to grow hemp for fiber and also waived taxes, and over 400,000 acres of hemp were cultivated between 1942 and 1945. After the war, hemp again had persona non grata status. Congress then passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, prohibiting the use of all cannabis for any purpose whatsoever and effectively terminating all industrial hemp production. Hemp extracts, however, are considered legal because they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, but the cultivation of hemp remains federally verboten. Now, the advancement of the Farm Bill signals a revived federal interest in the industrial hemp industry.

Hemp Pioneers

Led by hemp industry pioneers, Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA) has spearheaded efforts and staked claims on multiple legal hemp cultivation projects. The company’s innovative strategy is to vertically integrate hemp production and sales – from seed to shelf. Cultivation of quality hemp will feed MCOA’s innovative CBD-based formulations, which use the highest-quality hemp to produce what could be the finest-quality botanical supplements on the market. The hempSMART™ product line contains tested levels of clinically researched ingredients to meet consumer needs that support the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.

From seed to shelf, MCOA has built its business model around industrial hemp-based CBD products. Hemp has a myriad of uses beyond CBD therapeutics – as a food, a natural fiber, and even as a commodity in the building materials sectors. No part of the plant goes unused, and MCOA’s overarching strategy is to capitalize at each profit point – from farm to finished products. MCOA appears to be establishing a commanding presence at multiple inflection points across the entire hemp value chain.

hempSMART™, Inc.

Expanding on ancestral wisdom, MCOA has combined the most effective ingredients in wellness technologies with pure plant-derived industrial hemp-based cannabinoids to create optimally formulated wellness products for health-conscious consumers.

hempSMART™ offers a number of different products within a wide range of delivery systems, such as its capsule-based formulations hempSMART™ Brain, a patent-pending nootropic product designed to support natural brain function; and hempSMART™ Pain, which is formulated with a blend of premium full-spectrum CBD and botanical supplements designed for pain associated with physical activity.

The company also offers sublingual CBD tinctures to customers including hempSMART™ Full-Spectrum Drops and their natural pet supplement hempSMART™ Pet Drops with advanced bioavailability.

hempSMART™ has also expanded upon its established line of products by offering topical products such as hempSMART™ Pain Cream, which is designed to provide temporary relief and soothe sore, aching muscles and joints. The company also launched a new cosmetic product, hempSMART™ Face, a CBD facial moisturizer that has been designed to refresh, replenish and restore skin cells on the face.

MCOA’s hempSMART™ CBD consumer products are sold at www.hempsmart.com.

Hemp Cultivation

In what appears to be a vertically integrated business strategy, MCOA entered into a joint venture with Global Hemp Group Inc. (OTC: GBHPF) to launch multiple industrial hemp cultivation projects in the legal marijuana states of the U.S. and in Canada. The first is a 125-acre industrial hemp cultivation project in northeast New Brunswick. The project is well under way with objectives of promoting hemp farming and attendant year-round jobs.

A certified professional agronomist, Joan Parker-Duivenvoorden, has been hired to manage the project. She has over 15 years of experience with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and with the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association, which will prove invaluable as the project expands to encompass and employ over 50 farmers.

Planting has been completed on the first 77 acres, and the remaining 48 acres will be seeded soon. Drying equipment is being evaluated to process the hemp after harvest, and management is already in discussions with several potential processing partners for extraction of cannabinoids. Once all the licenses have been acquired for importing and manufacturing finished CBD products, the New Brunswick site could easily serve as a distribution center for MCOA’s hempSMART™ subsidiary.

In another joint venture with Global Hemp Group, MCOA is also developing Covered Bridge Acres, a high-yielding CBD hemp cultivation project in Oregon. Operations at the farm are well under way. The project will utilize both traditional outdoor cultivation and what will be over 19,296 square feet of greenhouses.

“Our evolving project in Scio, Oregon, highlights the quality of the team in place as they continue to lean on their many years of experience cultivating hemp. Activities such as these will help to secure the raw oil that we will need for our hempSMART brand of CBD infused products,” stated Donald Steinberg, MCOA’s CEO.

The Takeaway

With rapidly expanding retail distribution and burgeoning, diversified hemp cultivation programs underway, MCOA is fast approaching the vertical integration that typically impacts bottom lines and drives shareholder value.

Other companies already operating in the CBD space include:

Isodiol International (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F) grows and harvests hemp on an industrial scale and then processes it to extract cannabidiol (CBD) for worldwide distribution. The company pioneered the commercialization of 99 percent-plus pure, pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids, micro-encapsulations and nanotechnology for consumable and topical skin care products.

CV Sciences (OTC: CVSI) operates in two business segments. The company’s drug development division develops and commercializes novel therapeutics utilizing synthetic CBD. Its consumer product division manufactures, markets and sells plant-based CBD products to a range of market sectors.

Medical Marijuana (OTC: MJNA) develops, distributes and sells hemp oil that contains naturally occurring cannabinoids, including CBD, and other products containing CBD oil. The company sells its hemp-derived CBD products through its distribution subsidiaries. The company was among the first to bring hemp-based CBD oil products to market in the United States.

Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTC: LXRP) out-licenses its patented delivery technology, which lowers dosing of lipophilic active molecules and enhances their effectiveness. The company’s technology increases intestinal absorption rates, speeds delivery to the bloodstream, and masks tastes for orally administered bioactive molecules including cannabinoids, vitamins, NSAIDs, nicotine and other molecules.

Together, MCOA and these companies weave a tapestry of industry, innovation and intuitive concern for the communities they serve with nature-based hemp products that appear to be once again losing the stigma that has come from being marijuana’s staider sibling.

For more information on Marijuana Company of America, visit Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA)

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