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Colorado Submits Hemp Plan To Feds

Colorado has submitted a revised Hemp Management Plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it says aligns with the Department’s Final Rule.

The USDA’s interim final rule on hemp was published back in late October 2019, followed by a consultation process Colorado participated in. Colorado decided not to submit a revised plan to the USDA until after the release of the Final Rule, which occurred in mid-January. In the state’s opinion, the resulting Final Rule was “vastly improved”, but the Colorado Department of Agriculture will continue to advocate for additional rule revisions with view to creating even more flexibility for producers.

Currently, the state’s hemp program is still operating under provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill, but it can only continue to do so until September this year – so this Plan is a very important document.

“I’m proud Colorado is home to a strong hemp industry and that our state is the leader in the development of industrial hemp,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The revised Hemp Management Plan gives Colorado’s hemp producers a realistic way to expand operations while also ensuring that testing is in place.”

According to the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan (CHAMP) report released in April, the state hosted approximately 13 percent of all hemp acres registered and planted in the USA in 2019, the most of any. While hemp acres planted has dropped off since, there are plenty of parties currently registered for cultivation in the state – this listing is 109 pages long.

It was back in 2012 when Colorado’s citizens voted to pass Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution, which contained a directive to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp. Legislation adopted the following year delegated the responsibility for establishing registration and inspection regulations for hemp cultivation to the CDA.

In other recent hemp related news out of Colorado, a couple of weeks ago the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division clarified the status of the production or use of chemically modified or synthetically derived THC isomers including Delta-8, Delta-9 and Delta-10 originating from industrial hemp precursors including cannabidiol isolate. In a nutshell, the MED says chemically modifying or converting any naturally occurring cannabinoids from industrial hemp does not comply with the statutory definition of “industrial hemp product.”

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