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NoCo Hemp Expo keeps growing

By Michelle Vendegna

Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

Posted:   03/29/2016 07:32:06 PM MDT

 

David Bonvillain, CEO of Elite Greenhouse and Loveland Molecular Labs, shows off some of the hemp plants growing in his greenhouse Tuesday in Loveland. The

David Bonvillain, CEO of Elite Greenhouse and Loveland Molecular Labs, shows off some of the hemp plants growing in his greenhouse Tuesday in Loveland. The hemp business focuses on growing cannabidiol-heavy hemp and extracting CBD for medicinal purposes. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

If you go

What: 2016 NoCo Hemp Expo

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: First National Bank building at The Ranch, 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland

Cost: $20 for Saturday, $60 for both days, $100 for Saturday that includes hemp bag with hemp products.

More info: nocohempexpo.com for tickets, information, and live streaming of the event.

In three years, the NoCo Hemp Expo has grown from a one-day event at Ricky B’s Sports Bar and Music in Windsor to a two-day event at the much larger First National Bank building at The Ranch.

Friday’s focus will be more for industry insiders, while Saturday will focus on topics possibly of interest to the general public.

One of the companies participating for its second year is Loveland’s Elite Botanicals, www.pureamericanhemp.com, and Loveland Molecular Labs, www.lovelandmolecular.com. David Bonvillain, CEO, and Trey Bonvillian, operations manager, operate both companies as part of a Loveland hemp growing and oil extraction business. They focus on growing cannabidiol (CBD) heavy hemp and extracting the CBD oil for medicinal purposes.

The THC or psychoactivity properties are nonexistent in these oils. They are being studied and used for medical benefits for both people and animals. The live soil, pesticide free growing operations supplies businesses such as Mary’s Medicinals, www.marysmedicinals.com.

David Bonvillian will present, “The Future of Cannabinoid Hemp,” on the “Let’s Talk Hemp” stage as well as being part of the panel for processing and extraction in the panel room. The business is only about 3 years old as well, so it’s growing alongside the hemp expo.

David Bonvillain, CEO of Elite Greenhouse and Loveland Molecular Labs, gets type 3 cannabis out of a bag Tuesday at Loveland Molecular Labs. After the

David Bonvillain, CEO of Elite Greenhouse and Loveland Molecular Labs, gets type 3 cannabis out of a bag Tuesday at Loveland Molecular Labs. After the plant is grown at Elite Greenhouse, canabanoid oil is extracted from it in the lab. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

“It was the only real hemp event,” David said about why he and his colleagues wanted to participate last year. They had been involved in other marijuana events but thought this was a perfect fit for their company that doesn’t focus on the marijuana side of the industry.

“The thing about the (expo) is that it’s going to emphasize the difference between hemp and marijuana over and over,” Trey said.

It’s an opportunity for the these separate businesses to come together to discuss the future of the industry and to affect its infrastructure as it grows. Being such a young industry, the possibilities are still unknown.

“The industry is maturing. This thing is bigger than it ever has been, and there’s now companies where it’s not just a good idea, they’re actually establishing themselves as real companies, like us.” David said. David left his career in the computer industry when he saw a need for this product to help people. He was familiar with the growing process and saw how he could apply his knowledge to just CBD plants.

“From a business model perspective, we’re just way out front. We exist with a solution where there’s a growing application for what we are doing.” Trey said.

Elite Botanicals and Loveland Molecular Labs will be joined by more than 130 other vendors as well as speakers this weekend as the expo keeps growing.

“I was not expecting the event to be here in year three,” said Morris Beegle, organizer of the expo and owner of Colorado Hemp Co. What had featured just local companies two years ago now has vendors from as far as China, England and Ukraine. The expo will features products such as building materials, body care items and food and will discuss all aspect of the industry from marketing to technology.

“The goal originally was to create the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show, the Consumer Electronics Show, of the hemp industry,” Beegle said. The expo offers a place for industry people to showcase their products and discuss the growing industry.

He always wants to keep the focus on hemp as he always felt at the marijuana-based gatherings, hemp became an afterthought. Companies that applied to exhibit were looked at in order to make sure they had a tie to the hemp side of the industry.

As much as this has grown to an international event, Beegle still wants to emphasis this event is to grow the U.S. hemp industry.

“We are the number one importer of hemp in the world when we should the number one exporter and supplying the vast majority of it for ourselves,” Beegle said.

Michelle Vendegna: 970-669-5050 ext. 530, vendegnam@reporterherald.com

 

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