Slightly Less Lame Kansas Now Allows Sale of New Belgium Hemp Beer

It took long enough, but the country is finally starting to come around to hemp. Kansas is just taking a little longer than the rest of us.

The non-psycoactive cannabis plant and the oils, fibers and cannabinoids derived from it have seen a huge boom in consumer interest over the past few years and grew 16 percent in sales from 2016 to 2017, according to a recent analysis from Hemp Industry Daily. Hemp has even become an ingredient in beer, with Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company (the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country) releasing a pale ale in March that is brewed with hemp seeds to extract cannabis-like flavor and aromas.

Mixing beer and cannabis — even a harmless hemp seed with no THC or CBD — was sure to raise some uneducated eyebrows, but most of the country was pretty cool with Hemperor HPA (hemp pale ale), despite initial apprehension from a few states, according to New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. In fact, 49 states allowed it to be sold within their borders shortly after the beer’s release. The only state that didn’t? Kansas.

According to New Belgium, the beer was rejected earlier this year by the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which cited hemp as a banned ingredient in any alcoholic beverages. The state agency changed its mind in September, however, after New Belgium requested a review of the decision and Kansas state laws regarding industrial hemp. (The Kansas ABC didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Although not quite as square as the attorneys general of Oklahoma and Nebraska, both of whom sued the State of Colorado in federal court in 2014 for legalizing cannabis, Kansas AG Derek Schmidt still isn’t as woke as pot advocates would like. Before reversing himself in June, he’d deemed all hemp-derived CBD products illegal within the state, and once said this about Colorado to the Kansas City Star: “But doggone it, they have done something that federal law says they may not do, and it’s Kansans who are paying a price for that.”

I’ve met many fine people from Kansas, and I’m sure there’s more to the state than endless flatlands and dozens of billboards praising Donald Trump, Jesus and University of Kansas basketball. But the people running that state need to get real. You can buy hemp seeds at King Soopers for your morning yogurt, and my girlfriend’s mom uses hemp-seed oil for her poodle’s skin condition. This was an easy 2+2 equation, yet somehow state regulators turned it into algebra.

New Belgium appears to be happy and lighthearted about the news. “We’d like to think Kansans could no longer bear living life without experiencing the Hemperor’s game-changing union of hops and hemp,” spokesman Jesse Claeys says. “It could also be that Kansas, like many other states in our glorious union, finally got a whiff of how versatile and sustainable of a crop industrial hemp can be, and how it could play a much bigger role in our economy.”

Cheers to hemp and cannabis, Kansans — even if you still can’t smoke it.


Toke of the Town

U.S. beats Belgium to win (Quidditch) World Cup

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) – Already bored of the soccer World Cup with its single ball, earth-bound players and tiresome reliance on the laws of physics?

More than 6,000 km away from Moscow, in the Italian city of Florence, the United States swept to victory on Sunday in a much more magical contest – the Quidditch World Cup, based on the game dreamt up in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

More than 800 players from as far afield as Iceland and Hong Kong took part in the tournament – the largest yet staged in the muggle universe.

In the real-life game, two teams of seven players run around with broomsticks between their legs and engage in a full-contact, co-ed contest with elements of rugby, dodgeball and wrestling.

In the early rounds it was favorites USA and Australia who set the pace in the groups stages, played in sweltering temperatures.

In the first semi-finals USA beat Britain for a place in the final for the fourth time. Belgium became first-time finalists after beating Turkey.

The USA won the match 120 to 70, after Harry Greenhouse grabbed the ‘snitch’ within minutes of it coming onto the field, tied to the back of another player.

The first World Cup was held in Oxford in England back in 2012, when the USA took top honors. The team took the title again in 2014, but Australia caught the snitch to snatch victory two years ago in Frankfurt, Germany.

Slideshow (8 Images)

Editing by Andrew Heavens

Reuters: Oddly Enough

U.S. beats Belgium to win (Quidditch) World Cup

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) – Already bored of the soccer World Cup with its single ball, earth-bound players and tiresome reliance on the laws of physics?

Teams of Germany and Norway compete in the second ever Quidditch World Cup in Florence, Italy June 30, 2018. Picture taken June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

More than 6,000 km away from Moscow, in the Italian city of Florence, the United States swept to victory on Sunday in a much more magical contest – the Quidditch World Cup, based on the game dreamt up in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

More than 800 players from as far afield as Iceland and Hong Kong took part in the tournament – the largest yet staged in the muggle universe.

Slideshow (7 Images)

In the real-life game, two teams of seven players run around with broomsticks between their legs and engage in a full-contact, co-ed contest with elements of rugby, dodgeball and wrestling.

In the early rounds it was favorites USA and Australia who set the pace in the groups stages, played in sweltering temperatures.

In the first semi-finals USA beat Britain for a place in the final for the fourth time. Belgium became first-time finalists after beating Turkey.

The USA won the match 120 to 70, after Harry Greenhouse grabbed the ‘snitch’ within minutes of it coming onto the field, tied to the back of another player.

The first World Cup was held in Oxford in England back in 2012, when the USA took top honors. The team took the title again in 2014, but Australia caught the snitch to snatch victory two years ago in Frankfurt, Germany.

Editing by Andrew Heavens

Reuters: Oddly Enough

eOne Sells ‘Winston Steinburger’ to France & Belgium

e-one-150

Entertainment One (eOne) has secured broadcast sales for its new 2D-animated comedy series Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong in two key European territories. The news follows shortly after the series premiere on Teletoon in Canada, where it airs twice on weekdays and on weekend mornings. Corus is bolstering the show with bonus content on social media and a recently launched gaming app.

Season one of Winston Steinburger (52 x 11; kids 6-11) was picked up by Cartoon Network in France and pubcaster OUFtivi in Belgium. The show will launch in France in February and in Belgium in June of 2017.

Prior to the most recent deals, Winston Steinburger season one had sold to Clan TVE (Spain) and BIGGS (Portugal). Recent broadcast launches include ABC3 (Australia) and KIX (UK), where it performs at 62% above the channel average and ranks in its top 10 shows. The toon will also be heading to MBC Group’s channels across MENA in September.

Developed by eOne in collaboration with multi-award-winning animation studio Sticky Pictures, Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong follows the hilarious adventures of thrill-seeking space kid, Winston Steinburger, his feline best friend, Sir Dudley, and an uptight alien, Hampton, as they explore the galaxy together in a homemade space cruiser seeking out fun adventures, facing death on a daily basis, and evading Pam the Destroyer – a tweenie bopper with a manic personality, an itchy trigger finger and a mega crush on Winston.

The series is co-produced with broadcasters Teletoon Canada and ABC3 Australia.

Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong

Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong

Animation Magazine

Belgium seeks to have potato fries declared cultural heritage

A large cone of fries with mayonnaise sauce is pictured at the Maison Antoine frites stand in Brussels December 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Yves Herman

(Reuters) – There are few things people agree on in linguistically divided Belgium, but an effort to get Belgian potato fries recognized as global cultural heritage and put it on a par with Peking opera and the Argentinian tango may get unequivocal support.

Belgian fries are traditionally sold, in a paper cone, in a “fritkot”, generally a shack or trailer.

There are some 5,000 of these in Belgium, making them 10 times more common, per capita, than McDonald’s restaurants in the United States.

To become recognized by the United Nations’ cultural arm UNESCO, they need to be endorsed by a minister of culture, and Belgium has three of them.

The government of the Dutch speaking region of Flanders recognized Belgian fries as an integral part of national culture this year, and the French- and German-speaking communities are expected to debate the issue next year.

UNAFRI, the national association of fritkot owners, which started the drive, says the unpolished establishments are uniquely Belgian, combining the country’s embrace of chaos with a dislike of corporate uniformity.

“A cone of potato chips is Belgium in miniature. What’s astounding is that this way of thinking is the same, notwithstanding the different communities and regions,” said spokesman Bernard Lefevre.

Many tourists join the locals in the long queues at popular Brussels fritkots such as Frit Flagey and Maison Antoine.

“Before I came here, one of the only things I knew about Belgium was that they liked their fries, so I think they are pretty much there already,” said Rachael Webb, a visitor from Ottawa, Canada, holding a cone of fries.

UNESCO has a list of 314 items of intangible cultural heritage worthy of preservation, ranging from Turkish coffee to the polyphonic singing of the Aka pygmies of the Central African Republic.

Potatoes reached Belgium in the 16th century, but it was not until the 19th century that they were widely sold chipped and fried as a meal in themselves. UNAFRI says 95 percent of Belgians visit a fritkot at least once a year.

(Additional reporting by Miranda Alexander-Webber; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Kevin Liffey)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Punch-up over giant pandas divides Belgium

BRUSSELS | Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:01am EDT

(Reuters) – China’s latest round of panda diplomacy has triggered a row in linguistically divided Belgium – leaving Dutch speakers angry that two loaned bears will go to a zoo in the French-speaking region.

China offered to lend the giant pandas during a visit by French-speaking Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo this week.

The bears – prized for their ability to draw in thousands of visitors – will go to Pairi Daiza, a wildlife park in the French-speaking region of Wallonia, not far from Di Rupo’s home.

Di Rupo said the 15-year loan of male and female pandas, Xinhui and Haohao, was an honor for Belgium. But not all of his compatriots agreed.

Zuhal Demir, a lawmaker from the Flemish separatist N-VA party, said it was clear that Di Rupo had intervened to ensure the pandas went to the French-speaking south rather than the older Antwerp Zoo, in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

The head of Flanders region, Kris Peeters, also visiting China, said he would seek an explanation from the Belgian prime minister.

The 170-year-old Antwerp Zoo said it was disappointed by the decision, noting it had already housed pandas in 1987 and had bid unsuccessfully for another pair 10 years ago.

“All in all we are rather surprised that the prime minister did not think of us,” a zoo spokesman said.

Di Rupo’s office said only Pairi Daiza had made an official request for the pandas and had contacted China directly.

China has agreed to long-term panda loans to a list of countries, including Britain, Australia, Austria, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

Many zoos have seen visitor numbers spike by 20 percent or more after pandas arrive.

Belgium has long been split between the two regions, with different languages, education systems and regional policies.

Wallonia was the engine of the economy until the immediate post-war years, but has slipped behind in an era of services-based and digital industries.

It is now Flanders, with an export-minded services and manufacturing economy, that is wealthier and has an unemployment rate about half that of southern Belgium.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Luke Baker and Andrew Heavens)


Reuters: Oddly Enough