REVIEW: Lighting the future for alternative materials - Spannabis 2013
We set off on Sunday 17th of February to take part in Spannabis 2013, a cannabis far in Fira de Cornella. Although it was taking us a while to find the venue, from a distance we saw the top point of the glass pyramid reflecting the afternoon sun which lead us (and the other cannabis pilgrims) to the largest cannabis far in the world.
Spannabis was full with a mixture of young and old cannabis lovers congregating in the large pyramid venue. The younger generation seemed more interested in collecting weed posters, buying novelty rolling papers and grabbing freebies from the various different stalls. And the older crowd were getting growing tips for their precious plants, buying new growing equipment and enjoying socialising with other cannabis fanatics. But young or old, everyone was in great spirits and surrounded by amazing stalls with endless amounts of information, giveaways, equipment and great music. There were many passionate stalls, with helpful, attentive staff who were eager to answer your cannabis queries. and you could sense this was definitely a way of life for most people who came to the fair; from their enthusiasm when winning gifts, to their knowledge of the plant. But I think we all enjoyed the half naked girls luring you in to take part in competitions, who wouldn’t?
But was it all about smoking weed and getting high? I wanted to see what these professional minds thought of most of the world’s current ban on the hemp plant.
I spoke with a representative of the ‘Twister’ trimming machine (a huge steel machine for the big time growers which trims the cannabis until you’re left with perfectly shaped round balls of bud and comes at a cost of around 12,000 euros), who told me that in Canada it’s legal to use hemp but its uses are regulated by the government. Since 1998, commercial hemp has been legal in Canada and Canadian farmers have been growing and selling certified low-THC strains of cannabis.
Another keen stall member from ‘Bio-Bizz’ was extremely informative when it came to the legal issues of hemp. Astrid told me that when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in Holland, her doctor recommended she bought cannabis to help ease the pain of her condition.
Astrid provided her mother with organic weed to make her mother’s life a bit more bearable. She said she cooked it in a cake and it relaxed her mother completely. The Netherlands are known to be relaxed with its cannabis legalization and hemp uses and we have to question whether the pros outweigh the cons. The company Astrid works for, ‘Bio-Bizz’, prides itself on excluding any use of chemicals although this makes them a more expensive brand in terms of its products, it is still preferred by some cannabis growers and is used worldwide.
So the quesion remains, should the rest of the world follow in the footsteps of the leading hemp-producing countries? We could save on paper, fuel, food, fiber and plastic if more countries “saw the light” and moved towards this economical and sensible alternative. In a time when oil resources are low, when we are constantly aware of our carbon footprint, when we know to recycle and be resourceful of particular materials, surely the ban on hemp is a contradiction in terms of being economical with our materials.