Letter to the editor: Show support for current hemp legislation

This is a critical time for an industry that has the potential to bring significant health and economic benefits to the San Luis Valley – industrial hemp. There are several current bills before the US Congress, most notably the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 that would take industrial hemp off of the Schedule 1 list of drugs as defined by the US Controlled Substances Act. Note this just applies to industrial hemp, not marijuana, the difference being hemp has less than 0.3 percent THC so it doesn’t have the psychoactive effect marijuana gives. Hemp has 10s of thousands of highly beneficial uses and the San Luis Valley has become one of the largest growers of hemp in the nation. If this legislation passed, it would take away the many hurdles that are currently holding the industry back.

We would like to thank the San Luis Valley Commissioners Association for unanimously voting to send a letter of support to our federal representatives to urge them to vote for the current hemp legislation. Rio Grande County Commissioner Karla Shriver initiated the letter, so we would specifically like to thank her for her leadership to initiate and follow through with it. The letter makes a strong statement to have the signatures of so many county commissioners of our six SLV counties on it.

You too can show support by making a quick phone call to the DC offices of our three federal representatives: Sen. Michael Bennet (202) 224-5852, Sen. Cory Gardner (202) 224-5941 and Rep. Scott Tipton (202) 225-4761. You just simply have to ask the nice people who answer to relay your support to the Congressman for current hemp legislation, including the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, the Hemp Water Rights Act and the Hemp Banking Act, then mention your zip code.

Karla Shriver has also been extremely active on the Value Added Ag Sector Partnership that is led by Adams State University. Saguache County Commissioner Ken Anderson and Costilla County Commissioner Lawrence Pacheco have also aided those efforts. Value added products are one of the most exciting opportunities for the hemp industry to impact the economy of the San Luis Valley. With most agricultural products grown in the San Luis Valley, the raw product is shipped out of the Valley for further processing. Great care is being taken with hemp to keep processing in the Valley as much as possible, as well as developing ready to sell products that are distributed for sale outside of the Valley. The San Luis Valley Hemp Company is not only the largest grower of hemp in the Valley, but we are processing most of our hemp food products in Del Norte and will have the capacity to process all of them there soon. We also package shelled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp protein powder for sale in retail outlets, which keeps the full product cycle in the San Luis Valley.

Hemp seeds are known as the most nutritious seeds in the world. Ounce of ounce they have almost twice as much protein as a rib eye steak and more than twice as much Omega 6 & 3 as salmon. Plus they are one of the only plant-based proteins that are a “Complete Protein”, meaning it contains all 20 amino acids including 9 that our bodies don’t produce but need. It also has the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 for good heart health, improving mobility in athletes and the elderly, and nourishing skin and hair. Those are just of few of the health benefits of this superfood. Health is the #1 goal of the San Luis Valley Hemp Company. Farming that is healthy for the earth, and products that are healthy for the people and animals that inhabit it.

Let’s show our support for the health of the Valley!

Monte Robertson

Shanan Wright

Dion Oakes

Jeff Owsley


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