Bioresource Hemp Redux
Hempformation from Around the World
The 2nd Bioresource Hemp symposium, sponsored by nova Institute, was held in Frankfurt, Germany, from February 27 through March 2, 1997. Several hundred attendees absorbed the details of over seventy presenters from twenty-one countries during this information intensive forum. Research and industrial application is occurring around the world with reference to almost every aspect of this venerable plant. Topics ranged from breeding, cultivation, and harvesting to fibre processing, product development, and marketing. A special forum on cannabinoids was also held.
From countries where it has always been legal to grow hemp, including Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Russia, to countries where hemp cultivation has only recently been allowed, such as Germany, England, and Canada, qualitative and quantitative analysis is being performed to decrease the cost of production and increase the supply, quality, and demand of all things hemp.
Each day during the conference, over fifteen speakers provided the attendees with an average of eight hours of technical hempformation. The headphone attired attendees listened as translators interpreted the German and English presentations. Slide shows, overhead transparencies, and videos accompanied many of the speeches.
Presentations included breeders working to develop low THC strains with higher yields and better quality fibre and seed; cultivators working to grow the most hemp per square acre; processors working to extract the raw materials (fibre, hurds, seed oil) in the most efficient manner; manufacturers working with these raw materials and producing the thousands of products that hempsters claim can be made from hemp; business people working to market hemp products and determine the best way to utilize venture capital.
Enthusiasm & Cooperation
Evening activities centered around the “Hemp Hotel” (AM Rosenberg) in the hilly Frankfurt suburb of Hofheim. Here, attendees and presenters gathered to continue the hemposium in a more informal manner. The overall spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation resulted in the forging of new relationships and in the solidification of existing ones. Strangers were stopping strangers just to shake their hand.
The Bioresource Hemp symposium was held as part of the Bio Fach World Organic Trade Fair, where hundreds of companies filled several floors of a massive convention centre with all types of environmentally friendly products. Hemp products made up a very small percentage of the overall Bio Fach Trade Fair. This percentage will grow if hemp products can compete with the already established “green” products. While additional research and development need to be performed to accomplish this, the prospect for expansion undoubtedly exists.
See you in ’99
Reliable sources have let it be known that there will be another Bioresource Hemp symposium in 1999. The advances made in the last two years have been truly phenomenal, and this trend is likely to continue as we approach the millennium, and hemp struggles to regain its rightful place as one of the planet’s most important plants.
By John Dvorak
The nova Institute can be reached at Thielstr. 35, 50354,Hurth, Germany; tel 49-22-33-978-370; fax 49-22-33-978-369; email [email protected]
Author and hemp historian John Edwards Dvorak can be reached by phone at (617) 254-4367, or by email at [email protected].