Hemp has quickly become one of the largest cash crops in the nation, with the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the United States totaling to over $620 million in 2014 alone.
On top of the monetary growth that the nation has to gain from the production of hemp, the fibrous plant can be used to make a number of incredibly useful products such as foodstuffs, cleaning supplies like soap and lotion, textiles and a wonderful invention called hempcrete – a non-toxic building material made from nothing more than water and hemp fibers which is used to create green and sustainable insulation in houses.
Overall, hemp seems to be an amazingly versatile and helpful plant to grow. In honor of this, the Hemp Industry Association (HIA) and Vote Hemp have organized a huge amount of events for this year’s sixth annual Hemp History Week in order to spread awareness of the necessity and versatility of growing hemp as a cash crop.
Hemp History Week features over one thousand hemp-themed events throughout the nation in hopes to show everyone in attendance exactly how useful and cost-effective hemp could be if it was legalized through the federal government.
Some of the major events include the Chenago Hemp Forum in Morrisville, NY; the Charlotte Hempfest in Charlotte, NC; a combination of a Hemp Fashion show and a documentary screening of the documentary outlining the importance of hemp farming, Bringing It Home, in Sacramento CA; and numerous other educational and enjoyable events like cooking demonstrations, spring planting seminars and symposiums, film screenings, concerts and a demonstration on how to build and maintain a hemp home.
On top of the sheer staggering number of events taking place this week, a number of high-profile wellness experts and celebrity figures have also stepped forward in support of the hemp industry. Some of these figures include Dr. Andrew Well, Ashley Koff, R.D., author Doug Fine and musicians Jason Mraz and Ziggy Marley. Additionally, a number of corporate sponsors have brought their support as well, including Nutiva, Dr. Bronner’s, Living Harvest and Nature’s Path Foods.
Currently, 22 states are legally allowed to grow hemp under The Industrial Farming Act, passed in the beginning of this year. Outside of these states, the plant is still illegal to grow and harvest, as the cannabis plant still remains illegal under federal law. This persists, despite the fact that the hemp plant contains less than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis that causes the iconic high.
All of the Hemp History Week events are open to the public and everyone is highly encouraged to attend – even if you have never thought about using hemp at an industrial level before. The events are meant to not only teach the public about the amazing properties and potential that hemp has, but also to show them a good time and boost awareness of the monetary, agricultural and industrial potential that it can bring to our nation.
Check out the full list of Hemp History Week events here and be sure to make it out to one nearest you to support an amazing plant that could serve a number of purposes throughout the United States.
Do you use hemp-based products? Tell us about it in the comments.