[In1] Hemp Industry

AUTHOR: Anna Holden

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Hemp fibres Hemp field Hemp manufacture cycle Actors and Agents
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CROSSLINKS:

Database:
[Ec1][Ec2][In2]
[Sh1]
Prototypes:
[Hw]
Scenario Games: Action Plan:
[AP1]
External

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ACTORS/AGENTS
DEFRA (Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs)

Home Office

British Farmers

Hemcore

Bio Regional Development Group

The Intervention Board (Agricultural police)

Drug Squad

Factory Workers

Shoppers
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DESCRIPTION

Research into the growth and manufacture of hemp in the UK into useful products, primarily fiber.

Hemp is used for a wide variety of purposes, including the manufacture of cordage of varying tensile strength, clothing, and nutritional products. The oil from the fruits (”seeds”) dries on exposure to air (similar to linseed oil) and is sometimes used in the manufacture of oil-based paints, or for cooking. Hemp seeds are often added to wild bird seed mix. In Europe and China, hemp fibres are increasingly being used to strengthen cement, and in other composite materials for many construction and manufacturing applications. Mercedes-Benz uses a “bio composite” composed principally of hemp fibre for the manufacture of interior panels in some of its automobiles. Hemp use in the United States is suppressed by laws supported by drug enforcement agencies, for fear that high THC plants will be grown amidst the low THC plants used for hemp production. Efforts are underway to change these laws, allowing American farmers to compete in the growing markets for this crop. As of 2006, China produces roughly 40% of the world’s hemp fibre and has been producing much of the world’s Cannabis crop throughout much of history.

In the UK Hemp growing was made legal in 1993 and although it is currently not widespread, groups such as Hemcore and Bio Regional Development Group have been exploring the possibility of hemp becoming a more popular UK crop. Hemcore have a factory in Essex and Bioregional Development group have had trial runs planning the crop in Essex and experimenting with flax machinery to produce textiles.


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RESEARCH AGENDA
1. Look into feasibility of planting hemp in UK. Regulating bodies

2. Has it been done before in the UK, is there a working factory in the UK?

3. How is it different from Cannabis?

4. What can be made from hemp?

5. What can the by-products be made into. Possibility of full circle manufacturing.