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Hemp Returns to U.S. Soil After 56 Years -- and Magic Soap King Dr. Bronner's Is Ready to Buy

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The first known harvest of hemp-the non psychoactive variety of marijuana-in more than half a century in the U.S. took place September 23 in Colorado, where in the spring the passage of the state's Amendment 64 legalized the regulated cultivation, sale and adult use of marijuana. While the federal government has said it will not interfere with marijuana in states where it is now legal, it has yet to clarify where it stands on hemp cultivation. Hemp, though non-intoxicant, is considered illegal to cultivate under U.S. drug law.

Colorado's Amendment 64 both regulates marijuana in a way similar to alcohol, and also directs the general assembly to regulate the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp. However, the state of Colorado won't officially grant hemp licenses until 2014.

But while the larger legal implications remain unclear, a farmer in the southeastern part of the state named Ryan Loflin interpreted cannabis legalization as paving the way for hemp, and decided not to wait. So, he planted 55 acres of pot's sober sister plant, which made for the historic 'first' harvest in the fall.

The evening prior to the first hemp harvest, legalization advocates gathered to dine at Loflin's farm. Tucked among advocacy groups like the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp, was the personal care products company Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps.

Dr. Bronner's  has used imported hemp seed oil in its soaps for more than a decade, and is a dedicated supporter of drug reform, focused on ending the war on drugs. In fact, the company donated more than $100,000 to the voter initiatives in both Colorado and Washington that eventually resulted in legalization of cannabis products in those states.

Dr. Bronners will be one of the first to purchase some of Loflin's hemp seed,  once they have been pressed and made into oil.     


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