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Hemp history event is Monday

For the fifth year, a Winchester business is joining the efforts of raising awareness and acceptance of the industrialization of hemp.

Laura Sheehan, owner of Full Circle Market, will host a celebration Monday to kick of Hemp History Week.

The market, located at 240 Redwing Drive, sells vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural body care products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies and specialty food items. Among the merchandise sold at Full Circle are a variety of hemp products

Since 2013, Sheehan said she has been talking with her customers about the benefits of hemp.

“We were talking to people about industrial hemp and we were showing them the products in our store, like the hemp seeds and the hemp fiber,” she said. “But, it all came from Canada. We would mention to our customers that it would be great if that hemp could have been produced in Kentucky. And we were happy to see that people just got it. There were no misconceptions about hemp. They just understood that it was about nutrition.”

Shortly after, Kentucky became the first state to legalize hemp production. Riding on the support of U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, the legislation expanded a market for thousands of products produced using the crop. Farmers across the state were also allowed to participate in the first hemp pilot project.

Although hemp is a variety of cannabis and of the same variety of plant as marijuana, it has no drug value, according the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

KDA reports hemp seed contains little to no measurable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in drug varieties of cannabis. THC levels for hemp are around 0.3 percent, while marijuana THC levels are 10 percent on average.

As the industry continues to grow, so have Sheehan’s efforts to raise awareness and celebrate the crop’s deep roots in Kentucky through Hemp History Week celebrations.

Hemp History Week is a national campaign to educate and renew support for hemp farming in the U.S.

In 2015, she brought a showing of “Bringing It Home,” an animated film that details hemp’s history and efforts to revive the industry.

Last year, she welcomed representatives from CV Sciences to discuss the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD).

Sheehan said there was a lot of curiosity last year about how people can become involved with the movement.

“Last year, we noticed a lot of people asking how they can grow hemp, what it takes to grow hemp,” she said. “With all those questions, we decided to bring some experts in to help.”

Sheehan will host several experts on the industry for “The State of Hemp in the Hemp State,” from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at the market. Presentations will begin shortly after the start of the event.

There will be presentations from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky Industrial Hemp Research program. Visitors will learn about how the industry and crops have grown since the farm bill was passed and the economic impact.

“They will also talk about how people can get involved,” she said. “On the other side, we have hemp being grown in Kentucky now, so we are really excited to feature some of the great hemp products the state offers.”

CV Sciences will return to teach about CBD, Laura Freeman will discuss her locally-sourced hemp chocolates and offer samples and Victory Hemp Foods will talk about how hemp makes a positive impact on the body, the planet and the economy.

Kentucky Dawgs will be selling hot dogs made of Kentucky grown beef and hemp for $2.

Other vendors present will be Hemp Highway of Kentucky, Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and Think Hempy Thoughts.

“We are really excited because we are able to offer the community a time to come and meet all these people and learn about what’s going on with hemp in our state,” she said. “I think being a more agricultural and rural community, it will be neat to be able to get some answers about what is involved with hemp production. I’m looking forward to being able to connect those people and show others that hemp is a viable crop.”

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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