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USDA on Colorado’s State Hemp Plan: Try Again

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has sent Colorado officials back to the drawing board to revise the state’s proposed hemp-farming laws submitted to the feds in June.

Legalized nationwide in late 2018, farming of industrial hemp is still subject to federal oversight; states, territories and native tribes were given about two years to craft their own regulations and submit them for USDA approval. So far, the USDA has given the go-ahead to the plans of about twenty states and dozens of native tribes and federal territories, but Colorado hasn’t gotten the okay, with the state’s current status listed as “pending resubmission.”

Five other states — California, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah — currently have the same status.

Both the USDA and the Colorado Department of Agriculture insist that Colorado’s plan, championed heavily by Governor Jared Polis, has not been rejected, but is simply going through revisions.

“The Colorado state hemp plan has not been rejected. USDA has reviewed the draft Colorado hemp plan, provided edits and is continuing to work with Colorado state officials,” says a USDA spokesperson, who notes that the federal agency may formally approve the plan after Colorado incorporates the USDA’s edits.

However, there may be more involved than simply incorporating Uncle Sam’s suggestions. While CDA communications director May Peck emphasizes that Colorado’s plan hasn’t been rejected, she uses the term “negotiating” to describe the current dialogue between the state and the federal ag departments. [Read More @ Westword]

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