The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Colorado’s state hemp management plan, Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg announced Tuesday.
Colorado’s hemp management plan will allow hemp farmers to grow hemp in Colorado in compliance with federal laws. Colorado’s Department of Agriculture submitted comments for the plan over 18 months ago.
The state hemp management plan is derived from a pilot program established in 2014 as a result of that year’s federal Farm Bill. The Farm Bill enabled state agriculture departments to grow hemp, as long as hemp was legalized in the state. The 2018 Farm Bill removed some forms of hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The 2018 Farm Bill “establishment of hemp as a regulated commodity also paves the way for U.S. hemp farmers to participate in other USDA farm programs,” says the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
Polis during a press conference Tuesday unveiled a poster with a quote from country music artist Willie Nelson, an outspoken advocate for the legalization of marijuana: “Colorado should be proud of leading the charge for the hemp industry. There are many ways that this crop can benefit both small, family famers, and Americans in their everyday lives. From textiles and feed to fuel and plastics, hemp is the answer. I applaud Governor Polis for prioritizing hemp and I look forward to seeing the results. Hemp=Fuel-Food-Fiber!”