BROOMFIELD, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed into law Representative Barbara McLachlan’s bill supporting Colorado’s agricultural producers by streamlining state hemp policy and aligning it with federal policy, and securing Colorado’s position as a leader in the development of hemp markets .
“Colorado’s farmers are growing hemp on tens of thousands of acres across our state,” said Rep. McLachlan, D-Durango. “Now that the federal government has finally recognized the agricultural importance of hemp, we’re bringing our state laws into alignment and streamlining regulations for our industrial producers. Colorado has never been afraid to lead the way and set an example for the rest of the country, and our hemp production industry is no different.”
Between February 28, 2019, and February 27, 2020, Colorado registered 2,748 properties and 2,037 growers to grow industrial hemp outdoors on 86,880 acres and indoors on 16.3 million square feet.
Since 2013, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has regulated industrial hemp under state law. However, in 2018, the federal Farm Bill normalized hemp production by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and adding regulatory requirements for states, including a provision that requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve state regulatory plans. The CDA will submit its hemp management plan to the USDA for approval later this year.
SB20-197 changes Colorado’s statutes and brings them into alignment with the new federal laws surrounding hemp. Among other changes, this new law will improve oversight by redefining the makeup and authority of the Hemp Advisory Committee, improving and modernizing testing requirements for hemp samples and hemp plots, and specifying unlawful acts and establishing penalties for the industry.