Hemp Fest organizers pleased, looking to 2014
Published 10:05 am Monday, September 16, 2013
Dozens of people went to Bandshell Community Park in Austin Sunday afternoon to learn about hemp at the Austin Minnesota Hemp Fest. Organizer Deanna Rhyther called the event a success and said plans are already being made for another Hemp Fest next year.
“We’re calling this the first annual Hemp Fest,” she said.
Rhyther and others put on the event, sponsored in part by marijuana legalization advocates Minnesota NORML, to educate people about hemp as an industry and to advocate for agricultural hemp to be legalized once more in Minnesota.
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Organizers from like-minded groups came to Austin this weekend to promote hemp as an industry as well. Several volunteers from grassroots advocacy group Hemp For America went door to door in Austin on Saturday to discuss industrial hemp and to get residents to speak to elected officials about legalizing hemp, which can be used to make products such as lotions, soaps, clothing, rope and other things.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to come to a smaller community and talk about hemp,” said Will Mekemson, Hemp For America volunteer. Mekemson said people in rural communities have been interested in efforts to legalize growing hemp as an industrial crop. Minnesota outlawed growing hemp in 1968.
The event drew a few hundred people as of 3 p.m., according to Rhyther, and ended at about 8 p.m.