An event that started five years ago as a small educational expo focusing on industrial hemp returns this weekend as the the interest in hemp, and all the products that can be derived from it, hits a new high.

HempX Asheville will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22, at Franny’s Farm in Leicester. Here’s what makes this year’s event special:

This is the last HempX Asheville

Blake Butler and Jill Lieberman, business partners in the Asheville public relations firm Adapt Public Relations, started the event five years ago to educate consumers about the differences between industrial hemp and its higher profile relative, marijuana. They sought to bring together growers and vendors to share information. And they saw industrial hemp as a potential cash crop for small farmers in North Carolina looking for new revenue streams. The two say it’s time for them to move on, while adding that other events, forums and gatherings will fill the gap left by the end of HempX Asheville. Butler has a new job as executive director of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association. Lieberman will continue the public relations work, as well as consulting with hemp-related businesses.

The HempX Asheville 2018 emphasis is flower, not fiber

When HempX started, the focus was on growing the plant for its fiber. Processing the plant involves a number of steps, but lots of folks initially had their sights set on making clothing, rope, shoes and other products from the fiber. That’s all changed as interest has shifted to growing the plant for its flower, which contains compounds known as cannabinoids. One type of cannabinoid, known as THC, gets you high. The other, known as CBD, does not, while offering some pain relief and relaxation. Industrial hemp is grown for its CBD, which can be made into an ever-increasing array of products, from topical oils and balms, to edible treats for people and their pets. Hemp cigarettes are also hitting the market, and while they may look and smell a lot like an old-fashioned joint, they’re legal and offer mild effects. A laser light machine at HempX Asheville this year will allow growers to test their hemp flower.

The hempy food and hot music

HempX Asheville has always had strong music and food offerings, and this year will be no different. Blind Pig Supper Club will be staging a welcome dinner on Friday. For music, festival-goers will be treated to Coy Wolf, Hard Rocket, The Stump Mutts and Anna Christie. The event is family friendly. Dogs are not allowed at the event.

One Comment

  1. Would love to join

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