Hemp Love

COLORADO:  My love affair with hemp has become a revolution!

Industrial Hemp is growing in Colorado right now. History is being made, and it started with the legalization of industrial hemp here in Colorado.  Jason Lauve authored the industrial hemp remediation pilot program bill, HB12-1099, that passed last year, and initiated the industrial hemp regulations bill, SB13-241, that passed this year unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper, May 28th, 2013.

4 inches and 4 feet

Jason Lauve likes to say about the hemp plant, “You’d have to roll a joint the size of a telephone pole and smoke the entire thing in 5 minutes in order to feel any kind of high.  And, even then, you’d have such a headache you’d never ever want to do that again!” I have to laugh at this, but it’s relevant, most people in our country don’t know what the hemp plant is, or more importantly, what it can do. The hemp plant is totally distinct from the medical cannabis plant. Hemp is four inches apart and medical cannabis is four feet apart, (farmers get it).

50+ cultivars

The cultivars are the varieties of this plant, and each has benefits for different industries.  It’s magical when you start to learn how we can and will benefit from industrial hemp being legalized. The verticals span use in categories of filters, foods, fabrics and fuel—it’s truly massive and there are benefits that will touch every aspect of our lives from health, environment/ecology, and the economy.

There are a few factors that need to be addressed before Colorado goes into full production. Currently farmers are learning about the cultivars, (varieties) of hemp, to provide the value added products processors desire, such as good tasting seed oil; long fibers; large amounts of hurd, etc. The supply of seed to grow crops is the foundation, without the seed stock nothing gets planted. It will take a few seasons to produce enough seed to address demand, which can happen simultaneously while farmers learn about the cultivars.

It’s hard to believe, we are the biggest consumers of hemp in the U.S., yet it hasn’t been legal to grow and produce here until now.

  • We can clean up the soil, air, and water – we have what are called phyto-remediation research programs going on now;
  • We can live in it, homes are already being built – it’s anti-microbial, fire-resistant, insulating, sequesters C02, and more;
  • We can drive in it, Mercedes, BMW, Lotus, Kestrel cars use it in manufacturing – it’s stronger than steel, light and fuel efficient, and it flexes in a way that people won’t be as easily crushed in a crash;
  • We can wear it – again it is anti-microbial, it breathes and wicks away moisture, it’s durable, bullet proof and better than Kevlar;
  • We can eat it, and so can animals, birds and fish – it has tons of protein, amino acids, perfectly balanced omega 3, 6 and 9’s.

Catch the Vision!

The industry has to begin somewhere. We want people to have access to this experientially, so Jason Lauve and I decided to launch the industry with a project called Team Hemp House. Team Hemp House is a way for everyone community-wide to catch the vision of what this amazing plant can do. This project provides a demonstration house to launch hemp into the construction and building industry illustrating its many benefits, as well as showcasing multi-faceted ways to use hemp other aspects of our lives by using hemp construction – from foundations to furnishings including the: walls, floors, roof, counters, curtains, tiles, couches, chairs, tables, rugs, bedding, towels, soap, and food on the table.

It’s time to bring back opportunities for us to connect as a community, and support each other with information and resources. People have more access to information then ever, yet so many of us are disconnected and isolated. We have the opportunity to impact every aspect of our lives with industrial hemp. It’s been over sixty years since we’ve grown this plant in the U.S. We want to make it as easy as possible to be inspired and know how you can jump into this revolution!

The time is now.

Valerie Leeds

Hemp House



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