Different parts of the hemp plant have been used for centuries to create many different types of products with a plethora of uses, including consumer textiles, medicine, building materials, bio-fuel, paper, food, and more recently even batteries. Whats next…Airplanes? Absolutely!
A Florida based airplane manufacturing company, Velocity Inc., has contracted to fund $500,000 for the development of what is sure to revolutionize the aviation industry.
The Canada based company, Hempearth, founded by restaurateur Derek Kesek, has developed plans for the world’s first airplane made of hemp. Three quarters of the material used to construct this four-seater personal jet will be made from hemp material. It will even be powered completely by hemp bio-fuel, and it is expected to take to the air for a test flight early next year. With truly historical significance, Hempearth announced through Facebook that the plane’s maiden voyage will be launched from the world’s first ever aviation site within Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Before beginning construction, the Hempearth team has done ample testing to ensure the strength and durability of the hemp material to be certain it is best suited for flight. To do so, they constructed identical planks, some made from fiber glass and some from hemp material. The team then tested different breaking points on the identical planks. As predicted, they found that the hemp planks were equally as durable or even stronger than the fiber glass.
Kesek told The Star that the aspect of the hemp plane that he is most excited about, is the impact it may have on the environment. He explained,
“Hemp is a sustainable crop that needs no pesticides or herbicides to grow, so the plane would have a carbon footprint significantly smaller than that of standard planes.”
The featured image at the top and the photographs below show regular fiber glass planes from which the hemp plane design will be modeled.
photo credit: Facebook, The Star
Throughout the years of marijuana prohibition, the state of Missouri has handed down some of the most severe sentences to marijuana offenders in the United States. Possessing any amount could result in a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison and hefty fines.
Missouri is keeping up with the changing times, though. In July 2014, Governor Nixon, signed the bill for a new law that allows epilepsy patients to use cannabis oil for medicinal treatment. It includes specific guidelines regulating the cultivation of the cannabis as well as the production of the oil. The levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) for each plant will be tested to ensure a consistent product. Plants may contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, and must be high in CBD. The THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis known to have psychoactive properties, whereas the CBD is known more for it’s medicinal value.
Now, applications to cultivate cannabis and produce high cannabidiol (CBD) oil are available through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Completed applications may be submitted beginning November 3, 2014, and submissions will be accepted for thirty days.
Only two applicants will be granted licenses to cultivate and produce. The facilities must operate as a non-profit organization, and may not be stationed any closer than 2,000 feet from residential neighborhoods, child care facilities, and schools. No dates have been set yet for the opening of the facilities or when the product will be available to patients.
This bill received great support, largely because Missouri Senator, Eric Schmitt, has a son who suffers from epilepsy. During a discussion of the bill, Schmitt addressed the room,
“The promise of CBD oil is real. I don’t know if this will work. We’ve had hope before. It might or it might not.”
Applications are currently being accepted for patients who want to participate in the program. The state estimates 1,000 epilepsy patients will take advantage of the new medical cannabis oil law. In order to qualify to participate in the program, a patient must provide certification from a neurologist stating that at least three other forms of treatment have been tried.
photo credit: High Times