WINCHESTER, Ky (WKYT) — Hundreds of people showed up for Clark County’s first hemp festival on Saturday, bringing together small business owners and customers.
“People are curious. They want to see what products are out there and how they can be used,” said Kathryn Robertson, Vice President of GenCanna Global, a hemp company headquartered in Winchester.
The cash crop has roots in Clark County that date back to the 1800s.
“Up until the time it went into prohibition, this area was known as the hemp capital of the world, so it seems logical that we want to get hemp back into the rotation,” said Arthur Rouse, who works for Atalo Holdings, an agricultural and biotechnology firm that researches industrial hemp.
As the crop grows in popularity, more people are interested in starting their own business. Justin Cline explained he and his friends opened Ancient Aromas, after experiencing hemp’s medicinal effects.
“I started blending my CBD oil with essential oils and using it on my body, and it was working really well,” Cline said. “I had a lot of people say, hey, you got to make a product.”
Ancient Aromas sells CBD-infused body products focused on relieving pain and inflammation. Other small business owners have used hemp to make clothing, handmade artifacts, baked goods, and much more.
“Kentucky is known for basketball, bourbon, and horses. Now we need to be known for hemp as well,” Cline said.
Clark county hopes to make the festival an annual tradition.