The local retailer Hempwise will be hosting a celebration of Hemp History week Saturday at its Isla Vista store. Starting at noon there will be live music, vendors, and a fashion show promoting the many uses of hemp in both beauty products and clothing.

Hemp has indeed had a long history in America’s agriculture starting in Jamestown in the 1600s, although currently farmers in the U.S. are not permitted to grow the plant without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Even though the part of the cannabis plant used as fiber has no drug value, and little to no amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 outlaws it’s production. A movement has grown up promoting hemp as a multipurpose, sustainable crop. According to the official Hemp History Week website, the market for hemp has grown exponentially in the past couple of years because of the plant’s wide versatility – ranging from its edible seeds that provide protein and the Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils; to hemp’s use in lotions, lip balms, and soaps; as an alternative to paper; and as a substitute for cotton, which according to the website accounts for nearly 25% of all pesticide use in the U.S.

Steve Levine, President of Hemp Industries Association, has lobbied for farmers’ rights to grow hemp and hopes that Hemp History Week will educate people as to its real value.

“Nationally there are 1,000 various events going on for Hemp Week, at places like Whole Foods and farmers markets, to educate, and to raise awareness and increase the acceptance of hemp in the United States,” said Levine. “There’s so much confusion about what hemp really is and what it can be used for, so national Hemp Week is our way to give people the opportunity to learn about all its benefits and all the ways this plant can be used.”

The Hempwise event will be held in the store’s parking lot at 971 Embarcadero Del Mar, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. Live music and a fashion show start at 3:30, with a raffle at 4:20 that will feature hemp clothing, coupons, and gift certificates.


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