After the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp production legal, Colorado created rules for handling the new cash crop. “Green rush” farmers are worried the feds will make their work harder.
As Colorado hemp growers ready their fields and greenhouses for an anticipated 120,000-acre crop this year, state policymakers are working on a plan to bypass proposed federal rules that threaten to wither the promise of the state’s hemp industry.
Colorado has had its own successful hemp oversight program for six years, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture would like it to stay in state hands. Hemp — pot’s non-psychoactive cousin — has become a new cash crop, mainly to meet the demand for CBD oil that is extracted from the plants and used in medicinal and cosmetic preparations.
The problem is that proposed new federal regulations – slated to go into effect after this year’s harvest — could change oversight of hemp in ways that would make administering, harvesting and testing Colorado hemp much more difficult.
“We’ve been very vocal that Colorado has a lot more knowledge about this than someone sitting in Washington, D.C.,” said state Sen. Don Coram, who has weighed in on the proposed new hemp rules as both a legislator and as a Western Slope hemp grower. “If we follow the regulations as written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there won’t be a hemp crop.” [Read More @ The Colorado Sun]