Activism

Five Ways to Celebrate Hemp History Week

Hemp has been a part of America since the country was founded.
Hemp has been a part of America since the country was founded. Kenneth Hamblin III
Hemp heads, rejoice: Your week is here! Thanks to its laws legalizing cannabis, Colorado has exploded into one of the country's hemp capitals, but hemp's products are noteworthy for much more than getting users stoned — actually, they won't get you stoned at all. But hemp can help kick-start healthy eating habits and is a base material for eco-friendly building supplies, clothing, plastic and energy resources. So why doesn't it get more love?

Enter Hemp History Week.

Founded in 2010, Hemp History Week was created to spark grassroots efforts for federal hemp legalization across the country. Because it's in the cannabis family, hemp remains a Schedule I substance and is still technically illegal at the federal level, despite lax enforcement and varying laws from state to state. If you want to get involved in the push for federally legalized hemp, here are five ways to help out during Hemp History Week.

click to enlarge KENNETH HAMBLIN III
Kenneth Hamblin III
Eat hemp
There's no shortage of ways to use hemp — you can wear it, build with it, turn it into paper and much more — but the best way to celebrate the plant is to ingest it. We're not talking about edibles that get you high, but hemp-based foods such as hemp milk, roasted hemp seeds, vegetarian hemp burgers, hemp granola, hemp coffee and hemp protein. Rich in vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, omega-3 fats, linoleic acid and other nutritional proteins and fats, hemp seeds are on the rise as a popular health-food supplement, with many hemp food products made right here in Colorado. You can find hemp foods at most health-food stores and health-focused supermarkets.

click to enlarge JACQUELINE COLLINS
Jacqueline Collins
Party with other hemp lovers
Check the Hemp History Week website for a long list of things to do around the country this week, with almost twenty events right here in Colorado. While Denver is usually the epicenter of this state's cannabis and hemp gatherings, the agriculture-heavy portion of southern Colorado is going to see most of the action this week. Small communities such as Monte Vista, South Fork and Manitou Springs are hosting hemp food tastings, policy updates, dinners, educational talks and more. The week kicks off with a hemp-planting party in Fairplay; meetups in Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lakewood and other towns take place through June 10.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell