Inaugural ‘Hemp Fest’ takes over Austin park

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AUSTIN, Minn. – The first ever Hemp-Fest took place at Bandshell Community Park in Austin on Sunday.

Deanna Jean, the host of the event, said the purpose of the event is to raise awareness about what supporters consider hemp’s health benefits.

“It’s a food, it’s a fuel, it’s a fiber,” Jean said.

This “super food” has a very controversial counterpart but Jean believes that teaching people about the good will help them overlook the bad.

“It’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s a neuro-protectant so there’s a lot of people benefiting from autism, cancer, seizure patients like myself are benefiting from hemp seed oil,” Jean said.

Jeans main goal was to teach people about hemp seeds and oils but for Randy Quast, his goal for this event was a little more ambitious.

Quast is the executive director of Minnesota Norml, which is the national organization for the reform of marijuana laws.

Randy believes that, “the best way to keep it away from kids is to regulate it.”

He’s encouraging people to support legalizing hemp’s biological cousin.

“It’s kind of this really hypocritical thing where you have the government having a patent on the medicinal value of cannabinoids and yet you have them saying there’s no accepted medical use in the U.S.,” Quast said.

While many people attending this event hope to change the laws, others like jean, are hoping to change attitudes.

She wants to share her knowledge with the community, “so that they know the absolute truths and the benefits and can kind of end that whole reefer madness,” Jean said.

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