Valley Hemp Cooperative holds first meeting |

Valley Hemp Cooperative holds first meeting

The Valley Hemp Cooperative Association will hold its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Carbondale Public Library, 320 Sopris Ave.

The grassroots campaign aims to help coordinate the organizers, fundraisers, attorneys, accountants and publicists necessary to support the budding industry. There is no cost for membership.

Hemp, the nonpsychoactive version of the cannabis plant, is used in clothing, building products, paper, food and more. Currently, the United States imports the hemp it uses for manufacturing. Now that it’s legal to grow industrial hemp in Colorado, many farmers have already planted their first crops.

“With the agricultural land and pioneer spirit we have here in the Rocky Mountains, it seems a natural fit for a thriving industrial hemp operation,” an announcement read. “By growing and processing hemp locally, we have the potential to revitalize our agricultural community and our local economy with a new source of income and employment.”

The Federal Controlled Substances Act categorizes any product that contains marijuana’s active intoxicant, tetrahydrocannabinol, including industrial hemp, as a Schedule I drug. The final 2014 Farm Bill agreement included a provision permitting institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The conference reports that 12 states — California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia — have laws to provide for hemp production as described by the Farm Bill. Eight states — California, Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia — have laws to promote the growth and marketing of industrial hemp.

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