Browsing: Feds ‘N Heads

veritas_farm_collins20190807_001Jacqueline Collins

Two powerful federal agencies have given some optimism to Colorado hemp farmers and CBD companies.

Late last month, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a temporary suspension of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s involvement with industrial hemp testing, a factor of federal hemp regulations that worried Colorado farmers for a variety of reasons. Days later, the Food and Drug Administration announced a more collaborative approach toward future CBD regulations with stakeholders of the hemp-derived CBD industry.

es_berniesanders_31Evan Semón

Marijuana’s future in the United States remains a hot topic as Super Tuesday approaches. Formerly dismissed by virtually every presidential candidate, supporting pot legalization now seems a prerequisite for any
Democratic hopeful. The level of support varies, however, with some candidates preferring giving states the right to choose, while others are pledging to legalize marijuana through executive action if need be.

Before you submit your ballot for the March 3 count, read the past and present pot opinions of the eight Democratic contenders below.

bloombergGage Skidmore / Flickr

Does Michael Bloomberg think marijuana users are stupid?

Well, that’s really not a question. He’s already made his opinion known…and in Colorado.

“I couldn’t feel more strongly about it,” Bloomberg told a crowd at the Aspen Institute in 2015, after he was asked his thoughts on this state’s legalization of recreational marijuana. “It is different than alcohol. This is one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country.”

pot_zero_slideshow-2Jake Holschuh

Unlike fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, organically grown marijuana doesn’t have labels announcing the clean growing practices used to produce it, because the plant is still federally prohibited. Tired of waiting for national acceptance, the Cannabis Certification Council, a Denver-based cannabis sustainability and fair trade organization, has announced its own organic certification process for legal marijuana growers.

According to CCC board chair Ben Gelt, applying for the program’s organic certification is similar to applying for traditional organic growing certifications: After the CCC receives the application, third-party certifying entities will conduct inspections and audits for several months before deciding whether applicants become accredited.

ed-perlmutter-house-gove-2019 (1)live.house.gov

After the SAFE Banking Act, a measure that would allow banks and financial institutions to serve legal marijuana companies, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on September 25, Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter was confident of the bill’s chances in the Senate.

“There have been good signs coming out of the Senate indicating that they’re interested in moving this bill forward,” he told a crowd of marijuana regulators and business owners at Denver’s Marijuana Management Symposium in October, adding that he expected the Senate to vote on the bill “over the next two to three months.”

veritas_farm_collins20190807_011Jacqueline Collins

Many American farmers were handed seeds of opportunity in October, when the United States Department of Agriculture released its much-anticipated regulations for farming hemp. The new federal rules came nearly a year after Congress legalized hemp farming, and almost half a decade after the Colorado Department of Agriculture established its own program for farming hemp. And this state’s rules don’t exactly line up with the ones just announced by the feds.

Two years after voters approved Amendment 64, legalizing recreational marijuana, Colorado decided to opt into the 2014 Farm Bill, a federal law that allowed states to create pilot programs for hemp licensing. As a result, Colorado is now one of the largest producers of hemp in the country. While every Colorado farmer growing hemp will probably have to change a few things once the federal regulations take hold, those same regulations also bring credibility to an industry essentially stuck in a federal gray area, according to Corey Cox, an attorney with Vicente Sederberg who represents clients in Colorado’s hemp industry.

cbd-sign-aurora-petrovic-2019Nina Petrovic

Driving around the residential streets of Colorado, you might see signs that look like they’re about to announce a garage sale but instead are advertising hemp or CBD oil. Like the homemade one pictured here, on Iliff Avenue in Aurora, hawking 1,444 milligrams of CBD oil for $60.

“There’s a lot of concern, or growing concern, as we see a lot of the CBD market grow and grow,” says Hollis Glenn, director of the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s inspection and consumer services. “You see CBD being sold in places like gas stations, and the industry is so new that there’s no directive on how it should be manufactured.”

img_0278-2Jacqueline Collins

Most hemp farmers across the country got a big boost when the United States Department of Agriculture released its first round of industrial hemp regulations earlier this week; the new rules took effect today, October 31.

“I applaud the USDA for moving forward on hemp rulemaking and recognizing hemp production as an agricultural activity,” Senator Cory Gardner said in a statement after the regulations were announced. “Legalized hemp has the potential to be a major boon to agricultural communities across Colorado, giving farmers another viable and profitable option for their fields.”

But for farmers in states like Colorado, where hemp has been an established crop for almost five years, the new rules might not seem so progressive.

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