COLORADO: The Colorado Department of Agriculture has released draft regulations for the growing of industrial hemp. The rules, which are on view below, specify that farmers must pay a fee of $200 plus an additional $1 per acre to grow hemp for commercial purposes, must disclose the location of their crop and, if chosen, must pay for state inspections to ensure that their crop contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
Colorado is on the leading edge of industrial hemp production. It started with last year’s pot-centric Amendment 64, which also directed the state legislature to “enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp” by July 1, 2014. Lawmakers beat that deadline in May when they approved a bill that created a nine-member advisory committee tasked with helping the department come up with a way to register hemp farmers and inspect their crops. The bill gave the department a deadline of March 1, 2014 to get that process in place.
Some farmers didn’t wait, even though the department issued a statement in May clarifying that growing industrial hemp wasn’t okay just yet. In September, farmer Ryan Loflin began harvesting 55 acres of hemp that he’d planted in the spring. He finished hand-picking the plants (with help from 45 volunteers!) earlier this month.