By Bob Audette, Brattleboro Reformer
BRATTLEBORO — If you want to learn more about what CBD oil can mean for your health, this weekend is your chance, when Heady Vermont brings its CBD Hemp Farmers Market to the Robert H. Gibson River Garden.
“The CBD Hemp Farmers Market will feature a diverse group of local CBD and hemp producers and cannabis advocates — all continuing their efforts to bring CBD education to the canna-curious public and foster positive dialogue between the burgeoning hemp industry and the citizens of Vermont,” states a press release announcing the event, which will be Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Part of the mission of Heady Vermont is to promote the best of what’s happening in Vermont, and to especially promote local companies, farms and producers,” said Eli Harrington, who co-founded the organization with Monica Donovan.
The Farmers Market is sponsored by Vermont Hempicurean, which is located at 18 Flat St. As part of the Farmers Market event, Vermont Hempicurean will be having a store-wide sale, with promotions happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Scott Sparks, the proprietor of Vermont Hempicurean, said that during the store’s grand opening celebration, he will be offering 10 percent off all products, which include salves, edibles and liquids.
Also on Saturday, Heady Vermont and Vermont Hempicurean will host a screening of “Reefer Madness” and “Hemp For Victory” at the Latchis Theater on Main Street. Before the screening, at 4 p.m., there will be remarks from Lt. Governor David Zuckerman and Windham County Senator Becca Balint as well as other cannabis reform advocates. Heady Vermont members get in for free; there is a suggested donation of $5 for the general public.
Harrington said the Farmers Market in Brattleboro is one of many Heady Vermont has hosted around the state and he is excited to be in Windham County this weekend.
“Windham County is like a mine-emerald triangle with a long-standing cannabis culture and community,” he said. “Hopefully this will be a catalyst to encourage people to come out of the woods and become part of this in a formal, public way.”
The Farmers Market is meant to feature products being made across Vermont from industrial hemp and is an opportunity to learn more about local producers, their products and what CBD oil means for human health.
“Any plant with under .3 percent THC is defined as industrial hemp,” said Harrington.
In January, Gov. Phil Scott signed into law a marijuana legalization bill that goes into effect on July 1. Under the legislation’s provisions, people over 21 years of age will be allowed to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow as many as two mature and four immature cannabis plants. However, commercial marijuana sales will not be allowed under the new law.
Industrial hemp is a whole different ball game, though, said Harrington. Industrial hemp was legalized in Vermont in 2013. Like psychoactive cannabis, hemp is illegal on a federal level, but farmers across the Green Mountain State are producing lots of hemp products. Those who hope to produce and market hemp products must register with the state’s Vermont Hemp Registry Program, which is managed by the Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets.
“The industry is doing a great job regulating itself so far,” said Herrington. “But we expect more regulations will be coming from the state. We are very lucky here in Vermont in that we have legislators and regulators who understand the nuances and are working with farmers and producers to prepare to do this at the highest standards possible. Vermont has an opportunity because of this regulatory framework to skip ahead of other states.”
Hemp has been used by humans for thousands of years and can be refined into a variety of items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, building materials, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed.
Just the same, he said. “We are barely scratching the surface. Hemp is the most versatile plant in the world.”
At the Farmers Market this weekend, there will be a wide range of products, said Harrington, but because hemp is still classified as a dangerous drug by the DEA, credit card payment is not accepted. Those wishing to purchase product during the market will need to bring cash. Checks will also be accepted by certain vendors.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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