Go east on 71, then turn right at the church and the fruit stand.
These are the most detailed directions you’ll receive if you’re ever invited to visit Colorado Hemp Project’s 60-acre field outside Pueblo. Of course, there are multiple church/fruit stand combos, but if you pick the right one, you’re in for a real treat.
Past a mile or two of standard-issue farmland lies a sprawling jungle of 12 to 15 foot tall hemp plants. The stalks are thick and hardy, with ridges like an oversized churro, and the leaves are long and serrated, much like those of their cannabis brethren. The dominant smell is sweeter than weed, however, with a scent that’s more fresh than pungent.
This particular field was planted two years ago using 7 to 10 pounds of hemp seed per acre. Now approaching its second harvest, the crop’s yield and quality are expected to be higher than the last. This is because hemp is a volunteer crop, meaning it replants itself.
“It grows better and better each year,” says Dani Fontaine, co-founder and co-owner of Colorado Hemp Project, “and 98% of the crop is harvested for something.”
In fact, hemp has over 25,000 uses, from clothing products and building materials to fuel and medicine. It rivals graphene in energy storage capabilities, and one acre of hemp can produce four times more paper than one acre of trees.
“It’s the future,” Fontaine says. “Well, the present and the future.”
Colorado Hemp Project was established in 2014 with the goal of kick starting the Colorado hemp industry. They’ve already made great strides in organizing hemp farmers, and continue to sell a wide variety of CBD tinctures, capsules, patches, and edibles. In fact, if you’ve recently purchased a local hemp product, chances are Colorado Hemp Project had something to do with it.
When the organization is out to spread the love of hemp on a grand scale, no one is left off their radar. Fontaine tells the story of a man she met who lived near one of her fields. He’d been stung by an unknown insect a few weeks prior, and his hand had swollen up and turned black. After trying a variety of remedies with little success, Fontaine gave him some hemp oil. A week later the swelling was down and the color was back to normal.
“We’re here to heal the world with hemp,” Fontaine says, and it looks like they’re off to a good start.