With triple the space this year over last, organizers behind the second annual NoCo Hemp Expo hope to draw three to four times as many people to this year’s hemp business and lifestyle event happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 4.
“Awareness of hemp is much greater now,” says Morris Beegle, the man behind the Colorado Hemp Company business cooperative and the primary Hemp Expo backer. “We’ve also made strides nationally with legislation.”
Beegle is referring to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, a bipartisan push at the federal level to remove low-to-no-THC cannabis from the list of controlled substances, which could effectively open the floodgates to an American commercial hemp renaissance.
“There are a lot of new upstart [hemp] companies and entrepreneurs jumping on board now,” Beegle says. “There’s definitely more interest than there was last year.”
About 300 people attended the sold-out 2014 NoCo Hemp Expo. But this year’s hemp-enthusiast confab will unfold inside a 12,500-square-foot exhibition space at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland. It will include more than 70 exhibitors, 30 speakers and panelists, entertainment and hemp refreshments.
Here are three highlights from the second annual NoCo Hemp Expo schedule:
- Author Doug Fine. A leading contemporary hemp academic and lifestyle practitioner, Fine is promoting his latest book, “First Harvest: Game on for the Hemp Industry.” The book is being printed on hemp-composite paper.
- Hemp sports car. As part of Renew Sports Cars’ goal to create 100 percent carbon-neutral automobiles, the Florida company is building vehicles with hemp composite frames that also run on hemp ethanol. Its rebuilt 1997 Miata will be on display at the expo.
- Hemp artists. Muralist Tommy Nahulu — well known for painting a beloved Johnny Cash mural on the east side of the bar at 314 E. 13th Ave., which stood there from shortly after the iconic Man in Black died in 2003 until that watering hole changed ownership and underwent rebranding in 2012 — will be among the artists painting or sketching on hemp canvas during the expo.
“If you’re interested in hemp and want to find out what you make with it and do with it,” Beegle says, “this is your event.”
Tickets for the second annual NoCo Hemp Expo start at $15 at nocohempexpo.com.