LANSING – The first Midwest iHemp Expo, an industry trade show, will come to Lansing this weekend with more than 70 vendors set to appear.
The all-ages event will be held beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Lansing Center.
Although 2020 will be the event’s first year, anticipation is high, with approximately 300 all-access passes, which includes access to the expo hall as well as a a slate of speakers, sold out as of Tuesday evening.
Two-day passes and Saturday-only passes for access to the expo hall and select events will be available at the venue on the days of the event.
The expo will include workshops, product displays and networking opportunities.
“This event sold-out weeks ago, which we think says a lot about the excitement people in Michigan have for this new agricultural commodity,” David Crabill, communications director for iHemp Michigan, said Monday in a press release.
“There are a lot of enthusiasts for industrial hemp… for CBD,” Crabill said Tuesday in an interview with the State Journal.
Hemp, a cannabis product with less than 0.3% THC content that produces the psychoactive effects of marijuana, is a growing industry in the state. The first legal harvest of the product occurred in 2019. Hemp cultivation was legalized in Michigan in a 2018 farm bill.
According to state law, any plant with a THC content above 0.3% must be destroyed.
More than 572 growers participated in the 2019 harvest of over 30,000 acres of plants.
The Detroit Free Press reported in October that one grower estimated returns as high as $12,000 per acre for CBD plants.
Along with its uses in CBD products, which include everything from lotions to snacks, Crabill said hemp is used to make clothing, plastics, animal feed and a host of other products.
Crabill noted that Lansing was chosen to host the expo due to its proximity to legislators at the state Capitol.
The expo comes a little over a month after the state began legal sales of recreational marijuana.
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