Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, Ron Carleton, was interviewed on an NBC affiliate last week regarding hemp--its utility in our society, and the wide variety of applications for this incredible plant.

As some may know already, both hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis family—but hemp is usually bred to have an extremely low amount of THC, the medicinal, psychoactive ingredient that marijuana is known for. Hemp is stronger and softer than cotton, and can be used to make anything from building materials to clothing to food products. It can be made into a strong, durable and environmentally-friendly plastic substitute, as well. As a plant, it’s hardy and requires no pesticides or herbicides, and only a moderate amount of fertilizer.

Colorado now is running a regulation and inspection program that allows those interested in growing hemp commercially to apply.