FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- February 25, 2014
Industrial Hemp Registration Draws Near
CDA Urges Producers to be Aware of Challenges
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Late last year, the Colorado Department of Agriculture adopted the first industrial hemp rules in the state’s history; producers can begin to register with CDA’s industrial hemp program on March 1, 2014. However, potential registrants should be aware of uncertainties that still exist because of federal law.
“While the State passed legislation legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp, there are still many unanswered questions on the federal level,” said Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Carleton. “We want producers to be fully aware of the issues and challenges facing this crop.”
CDA’s regulatory role with industrial hemp is limited to registration of growers and inspection of crop. The State of Colorado has no jurisdiction over many other factors that producers are faced with. While Colorado legalized the production of hemp (Cannabis spp), growing it commercially is still considered illegal under federal law. The Department of Justice has issued guidelines that will, if followed, limit the likelihood of federal enforcement against commercial producers. Additionally, Congress included in the 2014 Farm Bill a provision permitting some Research & Development activities if following state rules.
The following issues may cause concern for those interested in growing this crop in Colorado. It is important that potential registrants are aware of these issues and understand the potential risks.
Producers must register with CDA by May 1, 2014, if they would like to grow industrial hemp during the 2014 growing season. The annual registration fee for commercial production of industrial hemp will be $200 plus $1.00/acre. The annual registration fee for production of industrial hemp for research and development will be $100 plus $5/acre. All registrations will be valid for one year from date of issuance.
All registrants are subject to sampling of their industrial hemp crop to verify that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3 percent on dry weight basis; up to 33 percent of the registrants will be inspected each year. During the inspection, the registrant or authorized representative must provide the Department’s inspector with complete and unrestricted access to all industrial hemp plants and seeds whether growing or harvested, all land, buildings and other structures used for the cultivation and storage of industrial hemp, and all documents and records pertaining to the registrant’s industrial hemp growing business.
The entire rule and additional information on industrial hemp can be found by visiting www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and click on “industrial hemp.”