Colo. Company Making Strides To Decriminalize Industrial Hemp
KREX News Room
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A Glenwood Springs company is changing the nation's perception of industrial hemp. EnviroTextiles, LLC has earned approval from the USDA BioPreferred Program as the only hemp products manufacturer to list their products in the Federal Procurement Preferred category. Consumers can trust that products on this list are superior.
At one point in history, hemp was such a staple in the United States that it clothed our soldiers.
Barbara Filippone, owner and president of EnviroTextiles, said, "My dad was in WWII and he distinctly remembers his backpacks and his rope was hemp." Eventually it was outlawed along with marijuana. Today it can be imported to the United States, but growing it is still a federal crime.
"Marijuana contains a psychoactive ingredient, which is medicinal. Hemp also contains inherent properties, but it's not considered a narcotic," said Filippone.
Cindy Brewer, an employee at EnviroTextiles, said, "While we are so grateful states have gotten behind the push for legalization of industrial hemp, we're encouraging our federal government to get behind this push."
EnviroTextiles would like to see the industry back in America. Hemp can be made into nearly 25,000 different products.
"It would create so many jobs from farming to manufacturing to exports, creating food, fuel, feed and fiber products," said Brewer.
"We need to decriminalize this, put this in the agricultural department's hands and start getting progressive," Filippone said.
They say gaining USDA Biopreffered Federal Procurement status is a step in the right direction, "I am the first since WWII to be acknowledged as a supplier of hemp to the US government," Filippone said.
The company takes pride in maintaining the highest standards for the product going out to the marketplace.
"Which will lead the way into a more sustainable economy because our products are 100 percent Biobased," said Filippone.
The company believes the stigma against hemp needs to end, so that this sustainable crop can once again be a staple in our country.
A bill has been proposed to legalize industrial hemp on the federal level, and is receiving support from both parties.