Congress considers new hope for hemp – Nation

Adam Kurtz, who owns Oregon Fusion with business partner Ed McCauley, checks young potted hemp plants at one of the company’s greenhouses near Boring, Ore.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Adam Kurtz, who owns Oregon Fusion with business partner Ed McCauley, checks young potted hemp plants at one of the company’s greenhouses near Boring, Ore.


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Cannabinoid, or CBD, oil is one of the main products driving interest in growing hemp in Oregon and Washington. Hemp can also be used in different food products, fiber and building materials.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Cannabinoid, or CBD, oil is one of the main products driving interest in growing hemp in Oregon and Washington. Hemp can also be used in different food products, fiber and building materials.

Hemp flowers resemble marijuana, but with an average concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, of 0.3 percent or less.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Hemp flowers resemble marijuana, but with an average concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, of 0.3 percent or less.


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Dustin Ash works in the greenhouse June 12 at Oregon Fusion’s hemp research farm near Boring, Ore.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Dustin Ash works in the greenhouse June 12 at Oregon Fusion’s hemp research farm near Boring, Ore.


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Anthony Rushford, a hemp seed geneticist for Northwest Hemp Commodities, said he has developed more than 200 hemp strains, including plants that can be harvested by machine.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Anthony Rushford, a hemp seed geneticist for Northwest Hemp Commodities, said he has developed more than 200 hemp strains, including plants that can be harvested by machine.

Dustin Ash transplants a hemp plant from the greenhouse to the field June 12 at Oregon Fusion’s research farm.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Dustin Ash transplants a hemp plant from the greenhouse to the field June 12 at Oregon Fusion’s research farm.

Northwest Hemp Commodities, which formed in February, plans to open a storefront in Salem, Ore., selling products including its own line of flavored CBD-enriched water.

George Plaven/Capital Press

Northwest Hemp Commodities, which formed in February, plans to open a storefront in Salem, Ore., selling products including its own line of flavored CBD-enriched water.

Planting season for industrial hemp is well underway at a 3-acre farm near Boring, Ore., where Adam Kurtz is testing new seed varieties to ensure they meet regulatory guidelines.

Kurtz is entering his third season growing hemp to make products derived from cannabinoid, a chemical compound found in cannabis that reportedly offers health and nutrition benefits ranging from pain relief to reducing anxiety and depression. He began his company, Oregon Fusion, in 2016 with business partner Ed McCauley.

“Here we do a lot of different trials,” said Kurtz, kneeling to inspect one particular strain of hemp named Sour Space Candy. “We’re testing genetics a year in advance so we can offer them to our partner farms.”

Hemp growers such as Kurtz are optimistic about the future of the industry, especially after the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee last week included the Hemp Farming Act in its latest markup of the 2018 Farm Bill. Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch…

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