April 8th, 2015 – A multi-billion dollar industry is emerging in America: Hemp. The recent legalization of cannabis for recreational and medicinal uses in three American states has prompted various industries to jump on the hemp and cannabis bandwagon. Colorado, the potential Silicon Valley of Hemp, as well as the first state to fully legalize recreational and industrial uses for cannabis, has been a sort of petri dish for the ever-expanding cannabis business.
Case in point, the recent 2nd annual NoCo Hemp expo in Colorado brought together diverse industries and people from all walks of life with the common vision of manufacturing hemp related products and ventures. Over 60 companies exhibited various products, from ice cream to t-shirts, using hemp as the foundation to their product. According to Morris Beagle, one of the expo organizers, the number of attendees at this year’s expo increased significantly from last year, saying that “There’s a lot more interest in the industry” and further “The entire cannabis movement has reached a whole new level of awareness.”
This increased awareness may stem from the fact that hemp is a more affordable and sustainable alternative to many industries reliance on non-renewable materials like plastics and other synthetic fiber materials. It is clear that the benefits of utilizing hemp are now far too substantial to ignore from an entrepreneurial perspective.
The Los Angeles based company Recreator Hemp Apparel manufactures hemp fiber t-shirts that are more durable than cotton and even has an odourless “performance capacity of synthetics” as the co-owner of this clothing company, Justin Petty explained. Petty, who started his company a year ago, still relies on importing the crop from overseas to make his t-shirts because of the strict laws against farming hemp in the United States. Even Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) spoke at the expo in favour of farmers’ rights to cultivate hemp:
“The federal ban on hemp has been a waste of taxpayer dollars that ignores science, suppresses innovation, and subverts the will of states that have chosen to incorporate this versatile crop into their economies.”
The expo showcased the rapidly increasing and diverse community of hemp activists, enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs all with the same passionate goal: to make hemp a more legitimate crop in the United States. The NoCo hemp expo represents the marketplace of the future, where commodities and products are traded based on their intrinsic worth.
The participants of this expo are forging the path towards a new multi-billion billion-dollar industry. If the current momentum continues, the eagerness of Colorado to legalize and embrace cannabis in all its forms, positions this state as the next “Silicon Valley of Hemp”.