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Carmi Rotary Learns About Hemp

Carmi Rotary Club meeting

The Carmi Rotary club heard a fascinating talk about the hemp industry on Thursday. Rotarian Tom Logan, who owns a home and some acreage in Indiana, attended a meeting in Evansville to learn more about this growing industry.

Tom explained that the US Congress passed a law in December of 2018 that changed long-standing laws around the growing of hemp as a crop. Primarily, what the law states, is that hemp with a THC amount of less than 3.9% is now legal to grow. Any product with 4% or more of THC is still illegal in the United States. (THC is the part of the hemp plant that creates the side effects of marijuana.)

At the meeting, Tom learned that hemp has literally hundreds of uses. One potentially large use will be in the manufacture of fabric. Hemp is actually much stronger than cotton. Besides the strength aspect, one acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton and will not mildew. Hemp is also better suited to a variety of climates, where cotton is limited to the southern US.

Hemp can also be used in the manufacture of paper products, producing paper that is stronger and cheaper than traditional papers made from trees. This would also eliminate the need to harvest tress solely for the paper process, saving countless forests along the way.

Tom stated that his main interest would be in the medicinal uses of the hemp oils. These products have a growing number of loyal customers, who swear by the oils for arthritis pains, back pains, sleeping problems, and a whole host of other medical reasons.

The biggest problem right now for growers is the lack of production facilities to take the product from raw crop to finished product. Tom noted, that with the growing demand for this product, someone is probably already looking at meeting the production issue.

In club business, the Rotarians talked briefly about the upcoming fundraiser for the Murphy brothers, who recently lost their home in a fire. Friday, April 27th has been chosen as the date for this dinner, with many, many more details to follow.

Cindy Conley was a double winner at the meeting, as she was named as the day’s phantom and won the 50/50 drawing. Her luck ended there, as she did not claim the day’s cash jackpot.

The Carmi Rotary club meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this civic organization is welcome to attend a meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.