Local hemp advocates will celebrate Hemp History Week with an educational event and evening party in Chattanooga.
The event will take place June 9 from 2 to 10 p.m. at the Edney Innovation Center.
Vendors will offer a variety of examples of how hemp fibers can be used in products. Advocates tout the variety of uses, including textiles, paper products, building materials and industrial products like paints, varnishes, printing inks and even fuel.
Several workshops and speakers are also planned as a part of the event.
According to organizers, the goal is to educate the community about industrial hemp in the state, as well as celebrate the local hemp economy. Guests will also learn the history of hemp, farming, laws, and how it’s used in food, wellness and the home.
The evening concludes with a Rooftop Hempy Hour on the Edney’s rooftop. The party will include hemp beer, hemp-inspired food, and live music.
The daytime events are free. Admission to the evening party is $10 per person.
Hemp History Week is June 4-10. It’s “the largest, national grassroots effort to restore strong support for industrial hemp farming in the United States.”
Local event planner and co-founder of Industrial Hemp for Tennessee, Ashley Clayton, said the Edney event is about making the public aware of the benefits of hemp.
“We want to educate the public about all things hemp,” Clayton said. “Whether it be hemp seed through nutrition, CBD (cannabidiol) for health, hemp carbon in supercapacitor batteries, hemp plastic, hemp clothing, building with hemp products. It’s all about breaking the stereotypes.”
Hemp is often associated with marijuana, but industrial hemp contains no psychoactive properties or THC. Hemp is considered one of the strongest natural fibers in the world, its usefulness apparent in a variety of products.
“It’s not just for hippies anymore,” Clayton said. “It can be a sustainable industry that can provide us with products that are not petroleum based.”
In Tennessee, industrial hemp production is legal but growing hemp is still considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Clayton and other local hemp advocates are working to get hemp removed from the law.
“What we need is more processors to take on the hemp seed and hemp seed fiber market,” she said. “As more people learn about these products, more farmers will start growing. We’re having to re-learn how to use hemp.”