An industrial hemp field, images via the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Written by David Castellon
Hemp growers and manufacturers of hemp-based products, along with people interested in getting into these businesses, are invited to attend California Hemp Expo Nov. 5 in Fresno.
“The expo is the place for sharing lessens learned in 2019 and making plans for the 2020 growing season,” states a press release from CA-Hemp, which puts on workshops around California promoting the hemp industry.
Hemp, which looks like marijuana and until recently was an illegal substance under federal law, was made legal across the nation under the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. But growing hemp isn’t legal yet in some California counties that still are developing local regulations for commercial hemp operations, Tulare County among them.
Hemp can be made into thousands of products, including food, rope, fabrics and alternatives to some plastics and concrete. In addition, oil from hemp plants can be used medicinally.
As of Oct. 1, 497 individuals or groups had registered to grow hemp in 28 counties, according to data provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Kern and Riverside counties had the most registered hemp acreage, at more than 8,000 acres and 6,800 acres, respectively.
Fresno County came in third, with 3,601 acres. Among the other South Valley counties, hemp growers in Madera County had 908 acres registered, and in Kings County, 742 acres were registered.
The expo will be divided between two Downtown Fresno sites, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Fresno Convention Center and Bitwise Industries South’s Stadium Theater, which will host workshops and presentations, some focusing on what farmers say works and hasn’t worked in their hemp-growing operations.
Vendors also will be on hand offering products for hemp-related businesses.
Tickets for the event range in price from one for $75 and two for $100. They can be purchased online at www.ca-hempexpo.com.