Industrial-hemp producers must register

DENVER – Colorado’s first industrial-hemp production rules went into effect Dec. 30, requiring producers to register with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Producers can register with the department’s industrial-hemp program beginning March 1. They must register with the department by May 1 if they would like to grow industrial hemp during the 2014 growing season.

“These rules are the first step to allow Colorado producers to legally grow industrial hemp,´ said Ron Carleton, Colorado’s deputy commissioner of agriculture.

Hemp can be refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper and fuel.
The annual registration fee for commercial production of industrial hemp will be $200 plus $1 per acre. The annual registration fee for production of industrial hemp for research and development will be $100 plus $5 per acre. All registrations will be valid for one year from date of issuance.

All registrants are subject to sampling of their industrial hemp crop to verify that the THC (tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating ingredients in marijuana) concentration does not exceed 0.3 percent on dry-weight basis.

Industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 percent and 1 percent, and marijuana has a THC content of 3 percent to 20 percent, according to the North American Industrial Hemp Council. To receive a standard psychoactive dose would require a person to power-smoke 10 to12 hemp cigarettes over an extremely short period of time. The large volume and high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be almost impossible for a person to withstand, according to the council.

Up to 33 percent of the registrants will be inspected each year. During the inspection, the registrant or authorized representative must provide the department’s inspector with complete and unrestricted access to all industrial hemp plants and seeds whether growing or harvested, all land, buildings and other structures used for the cultivation and storage of industrial hemp, and all documents and records pertaining to the registrant’s industrial hemp growing business.

The rules were developed in response to the recent passing of Amendment 64 and legislation enacted by the Colorado General Assembly. SB13-241 delegates to the Department the responsibility for establishing a registration and inspection program.

“The General Assembly, with SB13-241, has made it clear that cultivation, for either commercial or research and development purposes, is not authorized unless the prospective grower first registers with the department,” Carleton said.

The entire rule and additional information on industrial hemp can be found by visiting www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and click on “industrial hemp.”

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