With all the attention that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado has been getting, you may not know that Amendment 64 also included a provision for legalizing industrial hemp growth. This is a huge step for the sustainable textile industry in this country.
What does this mean for Colorado farmers and the U.S. economy as a whole?
According to Envirotextiles, a Colorado-based pioneer in sustainable textiles, "for starters, hemp requires very little water and no pesticides and herbicides. With drought conditions in the state, hemp is the most viable cash crop to plant under these conditions. In addition to ease of growing, one acre of hemp can provide the same amount of fiber as 4 acres of cotton! While hemp cultivation has been outlawed in the US, manufacturers of hemp products in the US have been thriving in recent years. Given the difficulty of importing raw hemp for manufacturing, our farmers already have immediate demand for their new crops in existing and expanding domestic markets. Simply put, farming industrial hemp will provide the US with manufacturing jobs, expand green initiatives, and provide our struggling agriculture industry with a cash crop that can be grown across the country."
According to Wikipedia, the U.S. is the single biggest importer of hemp in the world! The world leading producer of hemp is China. It's about time we start growing this cash crop domestically.
Hemp truly is a wonder plant
- There are over 25,000 confirmed uses for industrial hemp that include clothing, paper, plastic alternatives, building materials, and much more. Most products made from plastic, wood, or cotton can be made with hemp.
- The hemp plant is highly resistant to most insect and disease, largely eliminating the need for most (or all) pesticides and herbicides.
- Hemp is anti-microbial, anti-mildew, naturally UV resistant and readily takes on eco-safe plant-based dyes.
- Hemp is 4 times warmer than cotton, 4 times more water absorbent, has 3 times the tensile strength of cotton. It is also many times more durable and is flame retardant.
- Hemp fibers can made up to linen grade, making hemp fabric a true joy to sew and to wear.
- Hemp is not a 4-letter word. Well, okay, technically it is, but it won't get you high and is not a drug.
Want to know more about this great plant? Watch this a-bit-hokey-but-very-informative, video.
Hemp Can Save The World