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Hemp Gets Its Day

Photo by Joshua Polson


Hemp Gets Its Day

The 2nd Annual NoCo Hemp Expo is sure to be a festive day of celebrating all things hemp. The show, occurring April 4 in Loveland, Colorado, will showcase 60 exhibitions from various hemp product manufacturers and presentations by industry experts covering an array of topics from industrial to medicinal hemp.

The celebratory day comes at a time when hemp’s legalization is entering a renaissance period alongside the backdrop of a few core U.S. states overturning cultivation prohibition laws. The hemp plant — marijuana’s non-psychoactive sibling — has been misperceived in the U.S. since the advent of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, which first classified it as a Schedule I drug along with marijuana, heroin and LSD. That legislative move 45 years ago effectively robbed the U.S. of one of its greatest agricultural cash cows in modern history.

Morris Beegle, NoCo Expo founder, has been working as a pro-hemp advocate for 20 years in an effort to familiarize people with this remarkable material’s expansive range of uses. After the success of last year’s event Hemp Expo, Beegle says it was necessary to plan for a larger turn out this year.

“Last year’s inaugural expo was in a medium-sized club that we sold out,” says Beegle. “We had a combination of exhibitors, speakers, musicians, art and food. This go around we’ve moved to a bigger venue that can allow us to expand for several years to come.”

The event will exhibit the many versatile uses of hemp for textiles, building materials, food products, body care, bio-plastics and auto parts.

Renew Sports Cars will be one such exhibitor. Their sports car with a body made from carbon negative hemp is a stunning 1950s style Roadster convertible. Modeled after the classic European sportscar of that era, Bruce Dietzen, president of Renew Sports Cars, will be demonstrating the vehicle’s unique qualities. Mounted on a carbon-debt-free, re-certified 1990-97 Miata chassis — typically retaining its re-certified 27 MPG drive train — the hemp car body gives the Renew a lifetime carbon footprint which is roughly 10 percent less than today’s average electric vehicle.

Also featured at NoCo will be a film screening area, featuring hemp-centric movies “Hempsters: Plant the Seed” and “Bringing it Home,” as well as purveyors of hemp food and drink in the form of vegan hemp burgers, hemp green chili, various hemp snacks — and even hemp beer. Other companies in attendance will be The Arcview Group, Colorado Hemp Project, Rocky Mountain Hemp Inc., The Fay Farm, High Hops brewery and High on Health — just to name just a few.

Dr. Nolan Kane, from the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative at the University of Colorado, will present about her ongoing data analysis around cannabis. Doug Fine, author of “Hemp Bound” and “First Legal Harvest,” will emcee and moderate the presentations, bringing his hands-on knowledge of the hemp industry.

A kid-friendly event, NoCo will also feature hemp ice cream sellers, areas to design hemp jewelry and hemp paper with eco-crayons and colored pencils for drawing and sketching.

“We will have other great activities going on, including Colorado-Maui artist and muralist Tommy Nahulu, who will be painting in the round on three hemp canvases,” says Beegle. “And artist Matt Collins doing sketches and caricatures for attendees on heavy hemp stock paper.”

Several musicians will perform as well, including Daniel “Bambaata” Marley, who will be busking tunes on a hemp ukulele throughout the expo grounds.

Beegle is excited about the prospect of bringing back the billion dollar hemp industry and educating people on the plentiful applications of this useful plant.

“This event is about celebrating the many uses of hemp,” says Beegle. “And raising awareness to those who often get it confused with its higher octane cousin Mary Jane.”

Have you tried any hemp products? What are some of your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

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