CDA and the Hemp Advisory Committee address the challenges for the future of Hemp


The Colorado Department of Agriculture hosted a meeting of the Hemp Advisory Committee on November 27th. The majority of the meeting was a review of the state of Hemp in Colorado. The meeting closed with a long discussion about the challenges facing the Hemp Industry. This COHIA update focuses on these so that we can prepare for 2018 and the future of Hemp.

Federal Policy

-not all states getting the same guidance
-Need judicial prudence
-discrepancy between USDA and DEA
-industrial hemp farming act has some concerning elements

Federal Seed Act is not being enforced
-low quality ‘certified’ seed being dumped into the US market
-no recourse for low quality seed, no quality assurance, true-ness, type or quality
-also, true across state lines

Different State Regulations
-Lack of uniformity will impact the industry
-need a common perspective

Can’t catch us all (bad players)
-counter culture effort to encourage cannabis planting without registering
-participating in Industrial Hemp Program is voluntary
-no matter the THC level this is illegal marijuana with no protection from the DEA
-seriously undermines the legitimacy of the program

The system gamers issue

-registrants submitting artificially early harvest reports to get tested early

-few illegal marijuana plantings in registered acres

-using hemp registrations to hide marijuana grows


Blurred Industry lines

-raising the THC limit

-use of non-compliant materials in the market

-use of marijuana waste to be used as ‘industrial hemp’

-more regulations would be needed to maintain the constitutional provisions to keep them separate

-increases the regulatory job of the CDA

-does not reward the farmers who are compliant and growing Hemp


Law Enforcements changing involvement

-all of these things have shifted law enforcements perception

-a few bad apples

-DEA has been more cooperative, but that seems to be sliding

-law enforcement has begun to be very aggressive

-much different than 2015 and 2016

-increased number of calls with premature and unsubstantiated suspicions

-CDA is most concerned about inspector safety

The future of Industrial Hemp is up to the farmers, manufacturers and retailers. We need to hold each other accountable, to celebrate those who are playing by the rules and producing superior products with transparency and accountability. Colorado is leading the country in Hemp production and policy now, but it is the strength of our community that will keep us leading the country in the future.

by Hunter Buffington


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