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SLV farmers invited to hemp presentations

Posted: Friday, May 10th, 2013

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VALLEY ó Along with the passage of Amendment 64, which regulates the use of recreational marijuana, came an unexpected bonus for the state of Colorado. Farmers now have the option of once again growing industrial hemp.

But just what does that mean ó isnít hemp a close relative of marijuana? Yes, but with some significant differences. Although both are classified as Cannabis sativa L., industrial hemp has very little of the psychoactive ingredient THC. Industrial hemp also has an incredible number of uses, from foods to fuels. This month local residents will have a chance to learn more about this useful cousin of marijuana from some of the movers and shakers in the hemp industry.

Hemp Cleans is an organization that was formed for the purpose of initiating legislation to allow for the study of hemp cultivation as a means of remediating toxic soils. They have cooperated closely with Senator Gail Schwartz and the Rocky Mountain Farmersí Union in crafting industrial hemp regulations pursuant to Amendment 64. They have traveled throughout the state speaking with farmers and other interested parties about the opportunities hemp provides for agriculture, industry and the environment. Now they are coming to speak with the Valley community.

Jason Lauve, Lynda Parker, and Erik Hunter will be visiting the north end of the San Luis Valley on the evening of Friday, May 17 in the Moffat School Cafeteria. They will offer a wealth of information based on their combined experience, addressing legalities and agricultural requirements, as well as hemp products and markets in the US. For those who donít know, the school is just off Highway 17 in the town of Moffat.

The community will welcome them beginning with a Ďhempíluck (in lieu of a Ďpotíluck) dinner , in order to give local participants an opportunity to meet the speakers on an informal basis before the scheduled presentation. Please bring a dish to share. Paper plates, cups and utensils will be provided. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow from 5:30 -6:30 p.m. The presentation will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. All are welcome, especially those who wish to learn more about this remarkable plant or wish to become involved in growing hemp locally. Detailed information will be available.

A second presentation is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, May 18 in the Trinidad State Junior College auditorium, 1011 Main St., Alamosa. Doors will open at 10 a.m. and the presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m. Once again, there will be a question and answer session following the presentation and at this presentation, hempseed cookies will be available for sampling.

Presenters are asking for a $5 donation from participants to cover the travel costs of the presenters, who are volunteering their time. However, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Come and find out why industrial hemp, the crop of the forefathers, is poised to make a comeback, and why Colorado is leading the way.

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