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Monday, June 17, 2013
Colorado: Governor Signs Law Regulating State Hemp Production
by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy DirectorJune 14, 2013
Governor John Hickenlooper hassignedlegislation,Senate Bill 241, into law creating a new program within the Department of Agriculture to oversee the regulation of commercial hemp production. Hemp is adistinct varietyof the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Senate Bill 241 classifies cannabis possessing no more than three-tenths of one percent THC as an agricultural commodity and establishes a 9-member committee within the state Department of Agriculture to oversee the creation of regulations governing the licensed cultivation of hemp for commercial and research purposes. The Department must adopt regulations for the new program no later than March 1, 2014.
Unlikesimilar lawsenacted in other states, SB 241 does not mandate farmers seeking state-issued hemp cultivation licenses to also seek federal approval. The federal Controlled Substances Act makes no legal distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp.
Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can clickhereto write your federal officials in support of this legislation. Recent efforts to attach this legislation as an amendment to the US Senate Farm bill wereunsuccessful.
The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop,accordingto the Congressional Resource Service