Entrepreneurs and state leaders are keen on supporting the commercial hemp industry and are happy with the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill which categorizes hemp as similar to any other agricultural crop. The approval is expected to trigger a major impact in the overall economy of Colorado. This could result in the generation of more jobs in the state that can lead to an increase of millions of dollars in revenue.
Colorado’s Hemp Industry
Business owners in Colorado are always at the forefront in terms of building hemp products as a viable undertaking. The state is known for having cultivated the most hemp out of all the states where growing cannabis is legal.
There’s said to be 30,825 acres of registered land for cultivating cannabis in Colorado, making them one of the leading growers of hemp. Historically, around 60-70% of the registered land area has been cultivated for hemp. Colorado’s hemp-friendly technology and robust agricultural economy, not to mention various scientific researches, have all contributed to the overall success of the hemp industry in the state.
Hemp is Cannabis’ Lesser Known Cousin
Hemp is seen as the cousin of cannabis that has a very small amount of the THC, the component of the plant that has psychoactive effects and is responsible for making one feel high. The industry of hemp is expected to experience a billion dollar growth in the next few years. The 2018 Farm Bill will be able to fully legalize the cultivation of farming, a practice that’s often the root cause of cannabis prohibition. However, according to the law of Colorado, hemp should contain no more than 0.3% of the THC, which is the high inducing compound of cannabis.
Hemp is said to have more than 20,000 applications and the byproducts of the plants can be found in various food products and even in health and beauty products. One company in Colorado has even produced soaps infused with the hemp extracts. However, the biggest potential growth of hemp is in medical applications. The CBD oil, which was extracted from hemp seeds, has been made into pills and infused in lotions and several other over-the-counter medications.
Growing Hemp in Colorado
In order to grow hemp in Colorado, farmers must first be a registered grower of Colorado’s Dept. of Agriculture. It’s only the CDA that can regulate the plant’s cultivation while the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment regulates the sale and production of the products.
The Health Department of Colorado released a new policy last summer stating that registered farmers can sell their crops to be made into food products for as long as they are correctly labeled and contain less than 0.3% of THC. The Federal Government has banned hemp from being made into food products, which creates blind spots in the regulation of the hemp cultivation. Hopefully, this will change very soon.