My blog is dedicated to the exploration of industrial hemp in America including the rich history of all forms of cannabis, the evolving law and politics of hemp and marijuana, the many products made from cannabis and the capacity, real or imagined, of hemp to re-industrialize rural America and revitalize the American family farm.
Anyone interested in helping to jumpstart the U.S. economy and reduce the planet’s greenhouse gases should get to Loveland, Colorado April 1-2. The annual NoCo Hemp Expo is celebrating its third year there increasing awareness around the rapidly expanding industrial hemp industry in North America and around the world.
The popular hemp event, north of Denver held at The Ranch Events Complex, is a show designed for businesses and the general public to gather, learn and network, and help expand the budding hemp industry.
Industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin to marijuana, was for millennia (before the 20th century’s War on Drugs debacle) grown for a host of products ranging from paper to rope to protein-rich foodstuff. Currently, hemp is now also used worldwide for nutraceuticals, building materials, textiles, plastics, composites, nanomaterials, bio-fuel, soil remediation and more.
NoCo Expo’s founder Morris Beegle – who has been working as a pro-hemp advocate for over two decades in an effort to familiarize people with hemp’s remarkable mass of applications – says this year’s show will experience a near doubling of vendors from 2015.
“We’ve got over 130 exhibitors this year, which I think we had about 74 last year,” says Beegle. “The interest from the industry side this year has been impressive. Hopefully that interest carries beyond the choir and to the general public, who are the ones we really want to show up and learn about hemp and all that it can do.”
The festive NoCo weekend comes at a time when hemp’s legalization is seeing a resurgence of interest alongside the backdrop of recent legalization in 13 U.S. states – including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.
Beegle says the primary goal of NoCo’s upcoming event is to “increase awareness of industrial and nutritional hemp products, technology, innovation, legislation and politics that impact the advancement of hemp re-entering the mainstream with common-sense regulations.”
Speakers will include an assortment of thought leaders from the national and global hemp industry, including Congressman Jared Polis, Dr. Bob Melamede, Allan Dronkers, Barbara Filappone and author and renown hemp expert Doug Fine.
“NoCo is an absolute weathervane for the worldwide hemp industry,” says Fine, author of “Hemp Bound” and “First Legal Harvest,” who has been a guest speaker at all three NoCo expos. “Someone just forwarded me a link to my words at the first NoCo, and it’s astounding how far we’ve come. [This time] I’ll be talking about nano applications and business ethics in an expanding market.”
Beegle expects 2,500 to 3,000 attendees this year enjoying products, food and beverages made from hemp and a host of thought-provoking exhibits, including a “Let’s Talk Hemp” theater room featuring a Ted Talks-style atmosphere and a “Hemp Tomorrow” stage with a Good Morning America feel.
The event will also feature a variety of demonstrations, including cooking and juicing with hemp, building with hemp, brewing beer with hemp, artisan papermaking with hemp and nanoparticle delivery of CBD. NoCo will also produce a “hemp-printed pocket U.S. Constitution” for folks to brush up on the history of our country and the freedoms we are entitled to – including the unhindered production of said plant.
“We’ve got some really good programming for both days that will cater to both the industry side and the general public side,” says Beegle. “Couple that with all the exhibitors, products, hemp food and beverages, and we have the makings for a one of a kind hemp-centric event.”