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Omar Sacirbey

Omar has been a professional journalist since 1998, covering everything from international business and Wall Street to politics and religion. His stories have appeared in Newsweek International, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and other major outlets. Omar graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1998, and prior to that he was a Bosnian diplomat. He is based in Boston.


Colorado hemp industry moves ahead after seed certification

Colorado’s hemp industry took a major step forward this week when the state’s Department of Agriculture announced that three industrial hempseed varieties passed a statewide trial that confirmed the resulting plants contain THC levels under 0.3%. Being under the 0.3% threshold is important because plants with higher THC levels cannot be certified as hemp under […]

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Certified seeds and CBD help US hemp industry take root

By Omar Sacirbey America’s fledgling hemp industry recently got its latest boost when the Colorado Department of Agriculture submitted for potential state certification six varieties of hempseeds that, if certified, U.S. farmers could buy to start their own crops. Hemp cultivation also is benefiting from rising demand for CBD products and new applications for hemp.

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Hemp industry facing barriers to commercialization

By Omar Sacirbey It’s been more than two years since President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the limited cultivation of hemp, but the fledgling industry remains a long way from becoming a thriving business. Observers say commercialization of this potentially lucrative plant remains limited for legal, financial and technological reasons.

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CO University Gets $1.2M for Marijuana Research

Colorado State University’s Pueblo campus has secured $1.2 million to establish a research institute focused on medical marijuana, the latest venture to study the health and economic impacts of cannabis. The money also will be used to establish a peer-reviewed journal, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. The string of new research establishments are aimed at filling […]

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Group Asks DEA to Make It Easier to Grow Hemp

A group of entrepreneurs, a former United States Attorney, farmers, state legislators, scientists, and environmentalists have petitioned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to change its definition of marijuana to make it easier to grow a wider variety of industrial hemp plants. The current DEA definition of marijuana is too broad, and wrongly includes hemp, said Andy Kerr, […]

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Kentucky Entrepreneur Vows to Buy All the State’s Hemp

Grow it and he will buy it. John Roulac, the founder and CEO of a major hemp foods company, Nutiva, said he plans to buy all the organic hemp that Kentucky can produce, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. But labeling hemp as organic has been a controversial issue in recent weeks, as the U.S. Department […]

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USDA Reverses Position on Organic Hemp Certification

Industrial hemp farmers seeking organic certification for their crops should put their efforts on hold, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture has backtracked on an earlier decision to allow such certifications. CBDRx, an industrial hemp farm in northern Colorado, recently became the first company of its kind to obtain the USDA’s coveted organic certification label. […]

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Colorado City Giving Hemp Firm $5M in Incentives

The city of Pueblo, Colorado, is giving an upstart company a package of incentives worth $4.89 million to buy equipment and transform a long-shuttered former Boeing plant into a large CBD and hemp processing facility. The deal marks the first time a city has backed a hemp company to spur economic development, according to a statement from the […]

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North Carolina Now Permits Industrial Hemp

North Carolina farmers gained the right this week to grow industrial hemp when Gov. Pat McCrory declined to veto Senate Bill 313, which legalized the plant’s industrial cultivation. McCrory, who had until midnight on Oct. 31 to veto the bill, also signed a law in July permitting doctors to offer CBD oil for patients with epilepsy. […]

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