Hemp from Granny
A pair of Park County paramedics are bringing hemp back. Karen Kinne and JoDee Weaver will soon open Colorado's first cultivation and retail hemp store, Granny's High Altitude Super Hemp (38321 Hwy. 24, Lake George).
"The [state] Department of Agriculture is just so excited for the hemp industry to come back," says Kinne. "It was a huge industry all the way up to the '50s. It was shut down when marijuana was classified as a Class I drug, and hemp went with it."
Legalized hemp production returned with Amendment 64 in 2012, and 2014 marked the first year of state-authorized cultivation of the plant, which is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC. The Agriculture Department had 130 registered hemp growers in the state as of December, but no retail hemp stores before Granny's.
Kinne says she and Weaver got into the business to work on the medical side, using CBD and cannabinol (CBN) extracts — think low-THC Charlotte's Web and its use as a treatment for seizures. Kinne also notes CBD and CBN are good for pain.
"As paramedics, we saw a lot of narcotics abused, intentionally and unintentionally," says Kinne. "We wanted to offer a product to give them another route, so to speak."
When Granny's opens March 21, its stock will include CBD oil cartridges and e-cigarettes (for customers 18 and up), but also essential oils, soaps, clothing, food and drinks — all made from hemp. Kinne says the department's agents will be visiting to make sure her hemp is up to standards. As for the general public, she and Weaver hope to offer tours of their all-organic growing facilities, Mozart and all — their plants listen to classical music from seed to cultivation.
"We've found with research that plants respond well to classical music," says Kinne. "Their CBD levels increase, as does their growth rate."
Denver-based Ganja Labs, USA has teamed up with the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech), according to the Jamaica Observer. The plan, outlined in a memorandum of understanding, is to build a lab and greenhouse for research on MMJ in Jamaica. Long-term, the facility will act as a resource for the local industry.
"This collaboration will allow us to determine different unique marijuana strains that can be produced in the Jamaican environment, potentially enlarging the internationally recognized brand Jamaica," Dr. Claire Sutherland, UTech's senior director of international and institutional linkages, told the Observer. She added, "This partnership will ultimately have a positive influence on the livelihood and knowledge of small rural farmers by making knowledge of international best practices and standards available to them in this emerging legal environment and regulated industry in Jamaica."