The eighth annual Hemp History Week, which runs from June 5 through 11, is a national grassroots effort pushing to restore support for industrial hemp farming in America. And the Denver-based Industrial Hemp Research Foundation is doing its bit by putting on an educational soiree in Boulder from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9.
The Grateful Hearts Unite for Hemp fundraiser coincides with the Dead & Company concert at Boulder's Folsom Field. Only minutes from the music venue, the hemp-centric event at Cafe Aion promises giveaways, food, drinks and music from the female bluegrass & Americana fusion band Pistols and Petticoats.
But the real star of this show is hemp. A cousin to the cannabis plant, the plant's naturally occurring compound cannabidiol (CBD) affects the body's endocannabinoid system, which has receptors throughout the nervous system. Researchers and patients alike say CBD helps relieve inflammation, anxiety and neuro-degenerative ailments. Hemp also has industrial uses: Historically, it's been incorporated into a wide array of products, from rope for the World War II effort to the hard outer shell of cars.
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Currently, the Colorado Department of Agriculture controls the cultivation of industrial hemp in the Centennial State but does not regulate the sale or processing. Amendment 64 included provisions governing the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp; several measures passed this legislative session encouraged the hemp industry. Colorado measures the difference between hemp and marijuana according to the plant's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) percentage. According to the state, "Any cannabis plant with a percentage of THC above 0.3% is considered to be marijuana," and falls under the supervision of the Colorado Department of Revenue.
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Across the country, the Hemp History Week campaign, following the theme Breaking Ground, will host retail promotions, hemp plantings (in states where hemp farming is legal under Section 7606 of the U.S. Farm Bill), documentary screenings and meet-and-greets with farmers. Boulder's event will focus on education — and entertainment.
“It’s a great opportunity for the earth-conscious followers of the band to learn more about hemp,” explains Melanie Rose Rodgers, community engagement director for IHRF, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting industrial hemp research programs at institutions of higher learning across America. "We welcome the music community, Dead fans and fellow hempsters for this unique community event celebrating Hemp History Week."