The Colorado legislative session began last week and we have been watching closely. While we have not released an official position statement. We feel that a response to Senate Bill 29: Marijuana Tracking is appropriate. This bill would add a GMO tracking mechanism to Marijuana and Hemp produced in Colorado. We encourage you to reach out to your representatives and ask them to kill this in committee. For an analysis and talking points please see the alert prepared by Cindy Sovine-Miller the lobbyist for the newly formed Hemp Policy Roundtable representing COHIA and our members at the Capitol.
Please Oppose SB 18-29: Marijuana Tracking
Background: Colorado leads the nation in hemp cultivation since the passage of Amendment 64 and section 7606 of the Farm Bill. This has been specifically due to the bipartisan approach of treating hemp like any other agricultural commodity and food product. With over 7500 acres of hemp harvest last year – more than double the acres than peach orchards and 10 times greater than melons – hemp is increasingly becoming a agricultural staple in rural Colorado.
Summary: This bill unfairly groups hemp in with marijuana. It will force rural farmers to purchase an unproven tracking technology in order for law enforcement to track and trace hemp and hemp products as though they are illicit drugs.
Talking Points why SB 18-29 Should be Opposed or Significantly Amended:
The Hemp Industry has been integral for small farmers in Colorado. Colorado currently leads the nation in hemp acreage being grown and legislation like this would absolutely stymie the industry, put small farmers and financial and legal risk, and threaten hundreds of rural jobs.
Mandating small farmers to purchase an unproven technology will be prohibitive financially and since many hemp farmers operate without Federal Crop Insurance, this bill will create a massive legal and financial liability.
Hemp products are legal under federal law and protected under section 7606 of the Farm Bill. Since Hemp poses no “black market” risk, there is no reason to track hemp from seed to sale.
Hemp food products are safe and non-intoxicating. Hemp products have never been known to cause any health risks to the public and there are no known cases of illness or hospitalization due to a safely produced hemp product..
It is clear that this bill is intended to track illegally trafficked drugs into the black market due to the heavy law enforcement inclusion. Hemp is not a black market product nor is it a drug.
The bill title specifically references marijuana. Hemp is NOT marijuana and should not be included in any marijuana specific legislation.
There was no hemp industry input into the drafting of this bill which would drastically change how hemp farmers and manufacturers operate.
This technology would be better utilized by law enforcement and mandated for use in the pharmaceutical industry to track opiods; a dangerous drug that has cause untold number of death and created an unprecedented public health crisis.
Our priority is to safeguard the hemp industry as it currently operates in Colorado. Colorado hemp products and crops should be treated with the same respect and fairness as internationally imported and produced hemp products or any other signature Colorado crop. Hemp is not a drug and poses no public health or black market risk. Please oppose this bill as drafted