Gov. Jared Polis announces federal approval of Colorado’s hemp management program during a press conference Aug. 10, 2021, at Vermillion Hill Farms in Longmont. (Screenshot).
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.
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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!”
“This is really an event that will forever alter the course of the hemp industry in our state,” Polis said during the announcement, which took place at Vermillion Hill Farms in Longmont.
Vermillion Hill Farms is family owned, and began as a grass and hay farm. Four years ago, the farm transitioned to growing USDA certified organic hemp, according to Polis.
“I believe Colorado’s new hemp plan is going to provide great opportunities and benefits to Colorado hemp farmers with things such as crop insurance, hemp remediation protocols, and government grants and assistance programs,” said Anson Mitchell, owner of Vermillion Hill Farms.
“Colorado is the undisputed leader in the cannabis industry, and our hemp plan is a model for the country,” Polis said in a press release.
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