Marijuana and Cannabis News
Ben Droz. Hemp growing in Colorado.
Thirteen producers have registered to legally grow hemp in Colorado in the month since registration began, according to the state Department of Agriculture. However, those thirteen producers hold a total of twenty registrations, as several of them are registered to grow in more than one location or for more than one purpose. Ten of the registrations are for commercial purposes, while the other ten are for research and development. The Denver Westword spoke with three producers, who told the paper about their plans for planting marijuana's sober stepsister.
Backers of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative have been given the go-ahead from the state to begin collecting the required 504,760 signatures needed to get their legalization bill before voters this fall.
If approved, the measure - dubbed the Jack Herer Initiative -- would legalize cannabis use for adults 21 and up, allow for licensed and taxed cannabis retail sales, loosen restrictions on doctors recommending medical cannabis for minors, restrict drug testing for pot by employers and forbid any state funds from going toward enforcement of federal marijuana laws. But that's a big "if". The signatures must be collected by Aug. 18, and that's not going to be cheap or easy to achieve.
Indiana farmers could soon be planting fields of hemp as an industrial hemp production bill moved through the state's House Agricultural Committee earlier this week to the full House.
With House approval, the bill would head to the governor's desk as the measure has already been approved by the state Senate.
The South Carolina legislature has cannabis on their minds and seem to be okay with industrial hemp, but don't think they are coming close to actually legalizing pot anytime soon.
A bill allowing South Carolina farmers to grow industrial hemp moved through a state Senate agriculture panel Thursday with little opposition and a lot of support. Meanwhile, state Sen. Tom Davis filed a bill that would allow doctors to recommend CBD-rich oil to patients with seizure disorders.
Colleges and universities in Colorado and other states where industrial hemp is legal are now allowed to grow the crop for research purposes, thanks to a provision in the Farm Bill signed into law on Friday by President Obama. The provision, which was originally introduced as an amendment by Colorado Representative Jared Polis, defines hemp as separate from marijuana -- and could give the fledgling industry the scientific boost it needs to get off the ground.
So will Colorado universities start studying cannabis?
Currently Colorado, Washington, California, West Virginia, Vermont, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oregon, Montana and Maine all have hemp farming laws in place, but farmers for years have been barred by federal law from cultivating the non-psychoactive cousin cannabis.
But a Republican-backed, 959-page farm bill that is quickly working its way to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives would allow for hemp cultivation in ten states under federal pilot programs.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture yesterday announced farmers can register for industrial hemp production starting March 1. Registration as a grower will cost a farmer $200 plus $1 an acre. Research licenses will be granted for $100 plus $5 an acre.
Back in October, we shared with you the Colorado Department of Agriculture's draft regulations for the growing of industrial hemp. Now, those regulations are official -- with one change. Instead of facing a registration suspension or revocation if testing reveals that a grower's plants exceed 0.3 percent THC, the final rules say that a grower will not be subject to any penalty as long as the "crop is destroyed or utilized in a manner approved of and verified by" the state agriculture commissioner.
Hemp Industries Association
America's first (known) hemp harvest in more than fifty years began this month in southeastern Colorado. This past spring, following last year's passage of Amendment 64, which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults and paved the way for industrial hemp production, farmer Ryan Loflin planted 55 acres of marijuana's sober sister. Last week, hemp advocates from across the country came to watch as Loflin and others harvested the first plants by hand. Denver Westword has the full story.
The Colorado-made hemp flag that flew over the Capitol in Washington on the Fourth of July has made its way back to the Centennial State. And today -- which is known as Colorado Day, in commemoration of the day on which the state officially joined the union in 1876 -- the hemp flag flew at the Colorado Capitol.
The goal, says hemp advocate Mike Bowman, is to have the flag travel around the United States and fly at the capitol buildings of every state that wants it. "Maybe it'll end up at the Smithsonian," he says. Denver Westword has the rest.