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Colorado farmer harvests first U.S. commercial hemp crop in 56 years

By: Steve Raabe, The Denver Post
October 8, 2013 Updated: October 8, 2013 at 8:21 am
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photo - CRESTED BUTTE, CO - APRIL 16: Ryan Loflin, of Colorado Hemp, speaks about his goal to harvest industrial hemp. Loflin is likely to become the first farmer to grow large quantities of hemp in the United States in 60 years. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
CRESTED BUTTE, CO - APRIL 16: Ryan Loflin, of Colorado Hemp, speaks about his goal to harvest industrial hemp. Loflin is likely to become the first farmer to grow large quantities of hemp in the United States in 60 years. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post) 

Colorado farmer Ryan Loflin made history last weekend by harvesting the nation's first commercial hemp crop in 56 years.

Hemp advocates said Loflin's harvest is a landmark event that could one day lead to larger-scale domestic farming of hemp for industrial uses such as food additives, cosmetics and building materials.

Hemp is genetically related to marijuana but contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance that gets marijuana users high.

Loflin's 55-acre crop in southeastern Colorado's Baca County won't yield large amounts of hemp-seed oil and other by-products but is "quite significant symbolically," said Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for advocacy group Vote Hemp.

Read more here.

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