Craig briefs: Farmers can produce industrial hemp in state

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has adopted the first industrial hemp rules in state history. The rules became effective Dec. 30 according to a release. Producers can begin to register with CDA’s industrial hemp program March 1.

“These rules are the first step to allow Colorado producers to legally grow industrial hemp,” Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Carleton said.

Producers must register with CDA by May 1 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 per acre. The annual registration fee for production of industrial hemp for research and development will be $100 plus $5 per 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; as many as 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, as well as all documents and records pertaining to the registrant’s industrial hemp growing business.

The rules were developed in response to the recent passing of Amendment 64 and legislation enacted by the Colorado General Assembly. SB13-241 delegates to the department the responsibility for establishing a registration and inspection program. 

“The General Assembly, with SB13-241, has made it clear that cultivation, for either commercial or research and development purposes, is not authorized unless the prospective grower first registers with the department,” Carleton said.

The rules and additional information about industrial hemp can be found by visiting www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and clicking on “industrial hemp.”

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