Hemp, I’ve learned through the opportunity to attend The Third NoCO Hemp Expo, is considered by many to be the new ‘wonder crop’ and there are a number of very passionate individuals who are working extremely hard to make sure that hemp, which should NOT be confused with marijuana, is no longer identified as a controlled substance, allowing it to become a fully legal crop once again.
Over the years I’ve heard of the miracles of hemp, but until today I didn’t fully grasp just how incredible this plant is, and that the diversity of products that can be developed and used from it are limited only by our imagination.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and at least five other Presidents of the United States actively cultivated and promoted the cultivation of Hemp. Thought to be one of the earliest plants to be domesticated in human history, the earliest elected representatives of the Colonies of the United States passed legislation requiring that farmers work hemp into their crop rotations – purely for the agricultural benefits and the known uses in place during the 1800s – uses that would have only become more diverse as technology improved.
Pictured: Raw hemp that’s been harvested and is ready for processing into raw ingredients for manufacturing.
So, why isn’t it readily grown today, and why is it listed as a Federally controlled substance? It seems that hemp was too good for it’s own benefit. With few demands for successful cultivation and a wide variety of uses including fabric and paper, it was perceived as a threat by the well known and highly influential industrialists Randolph Hurst, Andrew Mellon, and the DuPont family.
I invite you to read up on the history of this plant, as well as the political environment, the technological advancements, and rise of new products such as nylon that led to the creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which led to the listing of hemp as a controlled substance – even though the uppermost limit of THC (the high in the HIGH of marijuana) that is legally allowed in hemp is below 3%. It is an intriguing story with all of the elements of a good thriller, and one that has the potential to provide farmers with a more sustainable and economically viable crop.
If you are interested in attending the NoCo Hemp Expo and seeing for yourself what this plant has to offer, the expo continues tomorrow at The Ranch in Loveland. Visit their website at http://nocohempexpo.com/ for ticketing information as well as details on speakers and exhibitors that you can visit.
Pictured: The NoCo 3rd Hemp Expo program – printed on hemp, about hemp.
Until next time, may your knees be green and your spirits light.