"You need to start forming coalitions," she told the twenty or so attendees, who included a group from Fort Collins interested in building houses out of hemp materials; a CSU soil and crop sciences student; and the president of Evo Hemp, a Boulder company that makes energy bars with edible (not plantable) hemp seeds imported from Canada.

"It might sound hippie-dippie or like a wide-eyed optimist, but I think this is going to be universally beneficial to the United States and Colorado," Walsh says.

But still there's much work to be done, which is why the three diehards of Hemp Cleans have been traveling to rural Colorado towns to talk hemp, one small group of farmers at a time.

On a snowy Saturday morning in February, they were in Salida, where Senator Schwartz was holding a town hall meeting at a senior center. Toward the end of the meeting, Parker, Hunter and Lauve took the floor, armed with charts, photos and samples of hemp products.

"Essentially, hemp can offer many things," Lauve said. The audience "Ooooh"-ed when he told them that car parts made out of hemp materials are "30 percent stronger than steel and 30 percent lighter" and murmured its approval when he held up a small building block made out of hemp and explained that it was half as heavy as a cinderblock and naturally sound-absorbent. When the presentation was over, the three took questions from the eager crowd.

"We're really excited about this in the San Luis Valley," said a farmer named Matthew Clark, who wore a dusty Colorado baseball cap and clutched a three-ring binder. Inside it was a booklet called Industrial Hemp: Practical Products — Paper to Fabric to Cosmetics that he'd had for twenty years. "I have some land ready to go, and I'm wondering, do you guys consult? What do you offer, a little more specifically? Like how to get started?"

"We'll hold your hand all the way through the process," Lauve told him. And once Schwartz's bill passes, he added, the legal path to growing hemp will become more clear.

And then the serious down-in-the-dirt work of building Colorado's hemp economy — the lofty dream of this unlikely, eclectic, merry little band of hempsters — can truly begin.

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14 comments
wethepeople65
wethepeople65

The original US flag :hemp fabric.The Constitution :printed on hemp paper, textiles needed to help win WW2;also hemp.

rsteeb
rsteeb

Washington specified "INDIAN hemp"-- do you know what that is?  Look up W.B. O'Shaughnessy and learn.  Low-THC, my eye!

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator topcommentereditor

I'd love to publish some of these comments in our print Letters to the Editor section -- ideally with the author's full name. if that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

rebeldor
rebeldor

Yet another reason I am proud of my write-in vote for Ron Paul, with Gary Johnson as his VP.  Sure better than the two drug warriors for whom the 50% of the country who even bothered voted.

brianstripling
brianstripling

I once wrote a paper in college about hemp and I gave a speech about it too. This was back in the early 1990's and i got bad grades for content even when the assignment was to write about anything. I put a lot of work into the paper but now after 20 years I feel vindicated but I never graduated from college because they really were not looking for people who thought or wanted to think outside of the box.  I would love to get into the hemp industry . I live in an agricultural community in Texas and I think its ridiculous that we dont grow hemp. Especially when people are on government assistance and out of work.  What a waist in so many ways. 

hemp1
hemp1

Colorado has a chance to be a national leader in the new movement.  Hemp could do great things for our state.  www.coloradohempcompany.com

Dave Adams
Dave Adams

Probably not most American's are ignorant fools when it comes to hemp.

Hempstress
Hempstress

Dannnng Westword got me doing the quadruple posts...ooops

Hempstress
Hempstress

If anyone is interested in moving this historic hemp legislation through in Colorado, please donate to Hemp Cleans at www.hempcleans.com We will be hosting Colorado's first HEMP LOBBY DAY at the Capitol on MARCH 20th. We will have amazing hemp businesses like Evo Hemp, Envirotextiles, Dixie Elixers, THC Magazine, HIA/Vote Hemp, Hemp Hoodlamb, JR carpentry and Johnny Hempseed, of course DR. BRONNERS and many, many more supporting the bill and educating the public on how hemp is wonderful and growing industry that needs to be allowed to fully flourish and operate in a free market. At the end of the day this is about our economic FREEDOM.

In the meantime, you can also check out HIA's website where they have a petition to lobby our Congressman and Senators on a national level to pass HB 255 the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.

IndustrialHemp
IndustrialHemp

...Industrial hemp right now is a political football with the Democrats of Kentucky holding back on endorsing the plant for agriculture. Seems the Dems aren't getting their slice of the pie.

Kudos to Senators Rand paul and Mitch McConnell for their foresight in ending the over 80 years of lies regarding hemp and shame on the Democrats of Kentucky who could care less about the farmers in their State. They will be remembered come election time...

HB420
HB420

Cannabis and hemp are the exact same plant botanically speaking.  The only difference is one variety has been bred to produce high levels of THC and other cannabinoids and one was bred to produce copious amounts of fiber.  Marijuana is a slang word that needs to be dropped from the lexicon along with "pot" and "stoner"

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

@rsteeb Many historical references allude to the medicinal properties of 'Indian Hemp'.

 
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