Colorado farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp starting in March


While the type of Colorado weed that gets you stoned has been getting all the attention this week, it’s fibrous cousin hemp also saw some major changes in the Centennial State.
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.

Hemp crops in Colorado have to have less than .3 percent THC by weight. State rules say that a grower will not be subject to any penalty if the crop is more potent than that as long as the “crop is destroyed or utilized in a manner approved of and verified by” the state agriculture commissioner.
Famer/political activist Mike Bowman was part of the rulemaking committee. He said back in July that the program was meant to be simple and transparent. Bowman said the committee was made up of farmers and agriculture officials who all understand industrial farming.
“We want to have a very streamlined process that’s transparent and puts enough boundaries around it that we aren’t going to be challenged by the feds as a program lacking in oversight,” Bowman said. “This shouldn’t be onerous, but it should be stringent enough that we satisfy the letter of the law. I’m convinced after one day in the room with this group that that is exactly the balance that we will find.”
Colorado voters approved industrial hemp regulations as part of Amendment 64 back in November 2012. The ballot initiative amendment also legalized recreational cannabis use, cultivation and sales for adults 21 and up.