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Hemp Food & Body Care Sales Growing, But U.S. Farmers Still Not Allowed to Grow the Crop

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671

Hemp Food Sales Grow 50% Over Last Year
Canadian Farmers Triple Hemp Acreage to 24,000 in 2005
US Farmers Missing Out on New "Cash Crop"

SAN FRANCISCO, CA­ As scores of leading American companies that make and
sell a wide variety of consumer and manufacturing components made from hemp
seed, oil and fiber meet in San Francisco November 3-4, new market research
shows that many of these companies are experiencing strong growth in sales.
The hemp retail sales figures to be presented at the Hemp Industries
Association (HIA) annual meeting demonstrate that retail sales of hemp foods
and body care made from hemp seed and oil continued their explosive growth
and are fueling a major expansion in Canadian hemp farming.

The data on annual retail sales of hemp food compiled by Leson & Associates
shows a 50% increase, from an estimated $8 million during the 12-months
reference period in 2003/04 to almost $12 million in 2004/05. During the
same period, retail sales of hemp body care products grew by 15% from $35
million to about $40 million in 2004/05. Market wide data on the much
larger sales of hemp fiber-based products such as clothing, paper and auto
parts was not part of this new research, but should be available next year.

The increasing consumer demand for hemp seed for food and body care
continues to drive growth in hemp acreage in Canada, the main supplier of
hemp seed products to the U.S. According to the Canadian Hemp Trade
Alliance (CHTA), the trade association representing all sectors of the
Canadian hemp industry, Canadian farmers planted over 24,000 acres of hemp
in 2005. This is almost triple the 2004 acreage and 6 times the 2002 acreage
of about 4,000 acres. Canadian farmers are reporting net profits of $200 -
$250 per acre and are very pleased to have a successful alternative crop.

"Hemp food sales grew 50% last year but it didn't result in one single acre
of industrial hemp being grown here in the United States because of the Drug
Enforcement Adminstration's refusal to recognize hemp as distinct from
marijuana," said Vote Hemp President, Eric Steenstra. "Hemp is the only
crop legal to import to the United States yet illegal to grow. We have been
saying for years that American farmers are being left out of this cash crop
and this latest research is proof that the federal law banning hemp farming
is outdated, irrational and hurting American farmers."

Some members of Congress are trying to change the federal ban to allow
states to regulate hemp farming. This summer H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp
Farming Act of 2005 was introduced but has yet to get a hearing and is
unlikely to become law this year. Currently fourteen states have passed
pro-hemp legislation.

Greater demand for natural products and organic foods has encouraged new
products made with hemp including auto parts such as car door panels, tree
free paper, clothing and nutritious foods. In 2004 the HIA won a three year
long court battle against the Drug Enforcement Administration to protect
sales of hemp foods in the United States. "Removing the cloud the DEA put on
the hemp food marketplace spurred a surge in the supply and consumption of
healthy omega-3-rich hemp seed in America," says David Bronner, Chair of the
HIA's Food and Oil Committee and President of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner¹s Magic
Soaps. "Sales of hemp foods are protected, but U.S. farmers won¹t benefit
without Congress taking action to fix the law."

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