Hemp is hot new agricultural venture

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copyright the Chronicle September 13, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

EAST BURKE — “Welcome to history,” said Eli Harrington, one of the organizers of Vermont Hemp Fest 2017, held over the weekend at the Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center. He’s also co-founder and editor of Heady Vermont, an online magazine and podcast for fans of the hemp plant — cannabis — in all its forms.

It was standing room only at Hemp Fest, a get together mostly for people interested in producing and marketing agricultural hemp. There were speakers from all over the country, evening “hempy hours” and entertainment, and a chance to try and buy hemp-based products ranging from clothing to food and supplements.

Mr. Harrington believes the three-day gathering over the weekend just might be the first time that a cannabis event has occurred at a ski resort.

Speakers took care to clarify that they were there to talk about growing hemp for food, fiber, and medicine.

People traveled from all over and paid admission to get the latest information on growing, refining, and marketing legal hemp products.

“What we’re looking for is a Vermont product with a national market,” Mr. Harrington said.

But many also expressed hope that, after marijuana and hemp are both fully legalized, the tent will be big enough to welcome the full spectrum of cannabis products.

Outside the building, it was obvious from the wafting smoke that some of the pre-conference write-ups about “ganjapreneurship” and “free Maryjane” had drawn their own audience.

Hemp and marijuana are pretty much the same plant. But marijuana gets its kick from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound that also boasts a variety of medical uses.

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Raymond James agrees to $150-million settlement

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copyright the Chronicle April 19, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

A year and a day after the federal and state governments filed civil charges connected with Jay Peak’s EB-5 projects, the receiver in the case announced a settlement intended to pay money owed to contractors and return the money invested in some failed enterprises.

Michael Goldberg, who was appointed to oversee businesses and other assets owned by Ariel Quiros, appeared at a press conference April 13 in Montpelier with Governor Phil Scott to announce an agreement with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., that could be worth as much as $150-million.

The same day, Raymond James posted the text of the settlement reached with Mr. Goldberg in a filing with the SEC. As a publically traded company, the financial services firm is required to disclose events, such as legal settlements, that may affect its business prospects.

Although it agreed to pay, Raymond James did not admit any wrongdoing.

According to the settlement documents, the company and the receiver have been discussing a settlement since last summer. Last June the Vermont branch of Raymond James reached a $5.95-million settlement with the state. That money will be subtracted from the $150-million the national firm is to pay out.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Mr. Goldberg said he is pleased with the settlement, but said it had taken a lot of hard work to come to terms.

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USDA money available for home repair and ownership

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Leonard Gregoire stands in front of the house in Lyndonville, which he purchased with a USDA loan through its direct home ownership program.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Leonard Gregoire stands in front of the house in Lyndonville, which he purchased with a USDA loan through its direct home ownership program. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle June 24, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has about any kind of loan or grant a low-income homeowner, or prospective homeowner, could possibly need. And it wants to give that money out, especially in the Northeast Kingdom.

That’s the message rural development specialist Dianne Drown and regional director for rural development Jon-Michael Muise, both with the USDA, gave at a public meeting held at the Burke school on June 17.

The point of the USDA rural housing program is to help people own houses that are safe, clean, and affordable to heat.

Depending on income and credit, people could be eligible for a loan of up to $205,000 in Orleans County, $200,000 in Essex County, or $215,000 in….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Circus Smirkus zoning permit is appealed

Brin Schoellkopf hovers above the tight wire.

Brin Schoellkopf hovers above the tight wire, in a Circus Smirkus show.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle November 20, 2013

GREENSBORO — Circus Smirkus’ local zoning permit, which allows it to move its camp to Greensboro Village, has been appealed to Vermont Environmental Court.

No trial or hearing dates were set after a telephone conference Monday because the project will also need an Act 250 permit.

Once that permit application is filed, the Act 250 case and the local zoning case will most likely move forward in a bundle, according to Mark Hall, the lawyer representing the circus.

Meanwhile, the show must go on — and so must the camp.  It will, in Burke. Continue reading

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