Dear Members,

    It's been another exciting six months for the IHA and the world of hemp.  The IHA was pleased to attend five conferences (see page 82).   These, along with two upcoming events in February 1997 (Vancouver and Frankfurt), where the IHA has an invited speaker, amply demonstrate the increasing pace of industrial hemp activity.
    The IHA has heard informally that two additional hemp varieties are poised for EU approval: Kompolti from Hungary, and USO-31 from the Ukraine.  Beniko from Poland and the Romanian varieties Secuieni 1 and Irene are also slated for 1997 EU-approval.  A new variety (Dolnoslaskie) has been registered in Poland and the French have added two varieties to the EU list, one extremely low in THC (Epsilon) and one claimed THC-free (Santhica)!
    Voters passed controversial ballot initiatives in California and Arizona, both of which basically allow herbal Cannabis for medical use upon a doctor's advice.  We hope this will lead to an increase of U.S. medical research into the therapeutic applications of Cannabis products, similar to the multi-center trials that will soon begin in Europe (see page 71).
    Interesting developments have occurred in Ireland, where Dr. James Burke is experimenting with growth of hemp for bio-mass combustion to generate electricity.  There has even been a contest announced, to stimulate the best design for an electrical generating facility.  He has been invited to lecture at Bioresource Hemp in Frankfurt and we hope to have more information on his work in a later issue.
    You will notice that we finally finished (and included as a separate document) a complete membership list.  We think that this document will help our members to know the resources available through other IHA members.  If any of your included information is incomplete or incorrect please contact us.
    Thanks to Annie Riecken for arranging a table space at the HighTimes hemp expo in Amsterdam (through the generosity of Ed Brown of Nashville, TN) and to Frank Zander for our fine booth at the highly successful CannaBusiness show in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany.  We would also like to thank the continuing contributors to both the VIR/IHA project and the Cannabis EduPak.
    Speaking of which, the 1997 VIR/IHA Germplasm Preservation Project is currently on hold, unfortunately, due to a lack of available funds.  Unless we can secure this funding soon, it will be too late to begin this season's planned grow-outs and evaluations of the entire VIR collection.  Perhaps our membership's concerted appeal at Bioresource Hemp '97 will help raise the US$25,000 required, plus the US$5,000 still owed for the last year's work.  Any donations from members or other interested contributors would be greatly appreciated.  If anyone can provide leads for foundation grants, please contact Robert Clarke.  A relatively small amount of money given now, will help secure the genetic future of our emerging industry.

Irene Bijl
Robert Clarke
Projects Manager
David Pate
David Watson
Hayo van der Werf