A volunteer helps harvest hemp during the first known harvest of the plant in more than 60 years in Springfield, Colo. (P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press file)

NoCo Hemp Expo: Lots of hemp food, beer and goodies on tap for Windsor event

Hemp is nothing short of a miracle crop, according to New Mexico author Doug Fine.

In his new book “Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the next Agricultural Revolution,” Fine argues that because hemp can revive moisture-drenched farmland and offset the developing world’s dependence on fossil fuels, the crop is poised to become financial gold.

“Americans spent close a billion dollars on hemp (products) last year,” Fine says in a promotional video (above) about the new book.

More hemp goodness: From yarn to coffee, shampoo to salve, body butter to wood finish — read our hemp product review archives.

In addition to making a series of promotional stops around the state in coming weeks, Fine will be the keynote speaker at the NoCo Hemp Expo, happening 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 5 at Ricky B’s Sports Bar and Music Venue, 522 Main St., Windsor. Organized by the Colorado Hemp Company, this ticketed event is the latest in a series of local hemp-themed gatherings and includes dozens of hemp product exhibitors along with speakers, music and refreshments. (Update: Tickets for the NoCo Hemp Expo are sold out.)

Hemp is the botanical cousin of cannabis but lacks the latter’s mind-altering properties. Edible hemp is protein and antioxidant-rich. Industrial hemp can be used to produce paper, oil, resin, cloth and fuel.

Until this year, cannabis prohibition meant that American hemp manufacturers had to import that particular raw material. Canada and Great Britain are among the international leaders in hemp exportation. Those are two countries that also use hemp in commercial and residential building materials, according to Fine.

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“Colorado is in a perfect position to really be a leader in this industry,” says Morris Beegle with the Colorado Hemp Company. He views Saturday’s Hemp Expo as a networking opportunity for businesspeople and aspiring entrepreneurs — and a chance for hemp consumers to learn and shop.

“This event will provide a lot of good information in addition to hemp food, hemp beer and live entertainment,” says Beegle, who adds that attendees will vie for a number of hemp door prizes. “People are going to walk away with a lot of hemp in their hands.”