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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Colorado at the 2017 Hemp Industries Conference!

The 24th Annual Hemp Industries Association
I had the great fortune to attend the 24th Annual Hemp Industries Association from September 7th- 11th in Lexington KY. It was an amazing weekend jam packed with meetings, events, awards and industry updates. Industrial Hemp in Colorado and COHIA were well represented with Board members; Tim Gordan, Rick Trojan, David Bush, Margaret Mackenzie. 11 vendors almost one-third were also from Colorado. Here are some highlights.

State of Industrial Hemp
9 State HIA Chapters: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia.
18 states are growing Hemp equaling 19,577 Acres
US Production: 55% CBD, Seed 30%, Fiber 15%

What to watch for in 2018
-USDA, FDA, DEA Statement of Policy for Industrial Hemp
-HIA, Hoban vs DEA oral arguments
– House Bill 3530 – Representative Comer– amends controlled substance act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana (needs a Senate Bill)
-Farm bill 2018

Future of the Hemp Industry – Sean Murphy (Hemp Business Journal)
Leap frog other industries to replace market share in the future
– renewable, reusable and adaptive products
Look at the history of other emerging markets and industries
-The Insurance industry (we’re healthier, our buildings are less likely to burn… etc)
Next Steps:
-Small baby steps: design simple products
-Design products that leap frog other technologies
-Predict when the industry will be capable of delivering the product
-Create standards and develop an industry contract
-Collaborate with the hemp industry to avoid bottlenecks
-History – learn about other industries
-Bring the people with you – develop customers and keep the message clear to work together!
-Additional processing opportunities- fiber should be processed within 50 miles of production

Hemp Round table and SRO (Self Regulating Organization)
The HIA has formed a working group to put forth standards and regulations for the Hemp Industry Nationally. The first draft was presented at the conference with plans for a completed framework by 2019. The next step after that is to determine whether the governing body would be a nonprofit organization. An example is the LOHAS Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (regulatory body for health and wellness industry). Watch for opportunities for members to provide feedback on the Standards and Regulations to the HIA round table.
Three segments of Standards
-service providers
Three phases
-basic draft is introduced at the HIA Conference
-third and final draft is planned for August 2019

HIA Awards:
Hemp Event of the Year – NoCo Hemp Expo – Morris Beegle (Colorado Hemp Co)
2017 HIA Leadership Award – Hoban Law Group – Bob Hoban
the Lifetime Achievement Award – Shaun Crew (Fresh Hemp Foods)

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COHIA Hemp Law Symposium on Organic Certification from soil to shelf HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED




We apologize for any inconvenience, but we will be rescheduling the Hemp Law Seminar.

DENVER, Colo., August 15, 2017– Colorado Hemp Industries Association (, a grass roots, trade association for Industrial Hemp, today announced the Hemp Law Symposium on Organic Certification to be held at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on Friday August 25 from 12:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

Join COHIA to get detailed information and ask questions about Organic Hemp Production from soil to shelf. The Hemp Law Seminar brings a wide range of experts including lawyers, farmers, and manufacturers.  Speakers will be Atty. David Bush and Atty. Garrett Graff, both of Hoban Law Group, Atty. Frank Robison of Vicente Sederberg Law Firm, and Sam Welsch of One Cert talking about the role of the certifying agent.

Two panels will address: Organic Crop Production with Tim Gordon of CBDRx, Brett Eaton of Green Cherry Organics, Sunny Kaercher of Miller Soils and Damian Farris of Colorado Cultivars: and Organic Product Manufacturing with Matt Burkholz of Colorado Hemp Works, Russell Thomas and Dana Shier with Vapor Distilled and Steve St. Claire of Enerhealth Botanicals.

The location is University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2255 East Evans Ave, Room 290, Denver, CO 80210.

Check in with coffee service and Hemp snacks provided by Mystic Mountain Hemp begins  at noon, with speakers and panels from 12:30 – 5:00. The event will conclude with a reception and networking from 5:00 -7:00 PM with complimentary drinks and light appetizers. Our thanks to Brett Eaton and Green Cherry Organics for supporting this event and COHIA.

Media Contact:

Cat Stone, Colorado Hemp Clothing – Denver, CO 303.929.2436, or

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The Colorado Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association supports increasing the THC Threshold to 1% for Industrial Hemp

Since passing of the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed for the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, research and distribution of Industrial Hemp, Colorado has been a leader in terms of both acreage and innovation.  As leadership continues to develop across our State, the Hemp Industries Association formed a State chapter, COHIA for short.  We, the Executive Board of the Colorado Hemp Industries Association, support increasing the 0.3% THC threshold for definition of Industrial Hemp, to a level of 1% THC on a dry weight basis.  This will allow American farmers to be on par with other international hemp farmers, and provide a breadth of cultivar variety to maximize production of fiber, grain, cannabinoids, hurd and oil seed.  

COHIA was created to collaborate with farmers, processors, manufacturers, researchers and distributors; educate the public about the exceptional attributes of hemp products; facilitate the exchange of information and technology between hemp agronomists, researchers, processors, manufacturers , distributors and retailers; maintain and defend the integrity of hemp products; and advocate and support socially responsible and environmentally sound business practices.  

Currently the 0.3% threshold for Industrial Hemp limits farmers’ ability to cultivate this plant.  Furthermore, the requirement that farmers destroy crops that test over 0.3% THC, including those crops that test up to 1% THC, famers have a real risk of economic hardship.  The reality is that even at 1% THC limit on a dry weight basis, there is no psychoactivity.  

Tim Gordon, President of COHIA, articulates the Board’s position, “As President of COHIA, I stand in enthusiastic agreement with my fellow Board members with overwhelming support for a 1% THC threshold on a dry weight basis.  At 1%, the opportunity for hemp farmers and producers to ensure success while striving to optimally produce hemp products like cannabidiol, with NO psychoactivity, will boost the hemp industry in Colorado and give solidarity to economic expansion to new markets allowing our State and industry to thrive.”  

Please support the upcoming Industrial Hemp Farming Act, and an increase in the THC threshold from 0.3% to 1%.  This will provide economic benefits to farmers, processors, manufacturers and distributors, and add badly needed tax revenue to our State.

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Science and Hemp


The Industrial Hemp Research Foundation

Conceived in 2014 – after the passage of the Farm Bill signed by President Obama – and incorporated in 2015, the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation (IHRF) works to ensure the re-establishment of Industrial Hemp into the U.S. market and the economy.

The Industrial Hemp Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting industrial hemp research programs at institutions of higher learning and education in Colorado and universities across America.

The IHRF provides financial support for industrial hemp-related research programs at the largest academic institutes in the state of Colorado with plans to expand nationwide in 2017.

Their efforts are aimed at increasing the body of knowledge and raising public awareness of the many known and potential applications of industrial hemp.

And the purpose of all this is to improve living standards, create jobs, safeguard the environment and enhance the quality of life for all people.

The IHRF Team

Thomas “Tom” Dermody, Executive Director

Tom Dermody serves as the Executive Director of the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation. Prior to joining the IHRF, Tom worked for DC-based agricultural non-profits in various development and policy analyst capacities. With a keen interest in normalizing public-private partnerships made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, Mr. Dermody directs IHRF’s university engagement, project design and fulfillment processes.

David B. Bush, Esq., President, Secretary, Board Member, Co-founder

David practices business law and commercial litigation, with a particular focus on industrial hemp-related agriculture, industry and market success.

Melanie Rodgers, Community Engagement Director

Melanie is a marketing professional with 10+ years of advertising, marketing and communications experience in CPG, healthcare, and the non-profit cannabis sector. Melanie’s focus is on expanding the IHRF’s branding and outreach strategy, marketing communications, advance donor recognition, and the management of special events.

To learn more about the IHRF’s Board of Directors, please visit:

Current Events

On Friday, June 9th, we will be hosting a fun, educational fundraising event to raise public awareness of hemp and its uses. Learn about the latest in hemp research.

Enjoy tapas from Cafe Aion’s world class kitchen, a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine, sangria, amazing raffle prizes, hemp education, hemp research update, networking and live music from Pistols & Petticoats!

Your ticket also includes entry into a raffle for your chance to win hemptastic giveaways from our local and national Hemp History Week sponsors!

Grateful Hearts Unite for Hemp
Friday, June 9th at 2:30-5pm
Cafe Aion, 1235 Pennsylvania Ave.
Boulder, CO 80302
 just steps away from Folsom Field (0.2 miles!)

Current Projects

A Brave New World: The SOMA Project

Research Lead: Monika Fleshner, Ph.D. – University of Colorado – Boulder, CO

Professor Monika Fleshner proposes to study the effects of administering controlled dosages of CBD to treat symptoms of stress induced in laboratory test animals, and to determine whether CBD can improve the rate of recovery after experiencing stress.

Hemp Value Chain and Innovation Potential

Research Lead: Dr. Gregory Graff, Assoc. Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics – CSU – Ft. Collins, CO

This project seeks to analyze the economic potential of industrial hemp in the United States, taking a value chain perspective of the industry within the global market context. It will proceed in three steps:

  1. Economic Model of the Industrial Hemp Value Chain
  2. Assess Competitiveness and Growth Potential in Key Segments of the Value Chain

How You Can Help

The Foundation relies upon the generous contributions of individuals and businesses throughout Colorado and across the United States to achieve our project support goals.

The Future of Hemp in America

The IHRF researches every funded project to vet each one for research value, academic validity and ultimate benefit to the projected market or use case it is proposed for.

The whole team shares a passion for returning Industrial Hemp as a viable and trade-able commodity in the United States, once again.

Catch them on Facebook at

Cat Stone

Colorado Hemp Clothing

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The Future of Hemp in the United States

Thirty-one states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states will be able to take immediate advantage of the hemp research and pilot program provision of Section 7606 of the Farm Bill:

Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Virginia.

I have chosen three of these states to spotlight the future of industrial hemp in the USA.


The home page of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition’s website has four clickable opportunities:
1. Sign the Petition
2. Join the Newsletter
3. Contact Your Legislator
4. Email Your Congressman

This is how we as citizens control the future of hemp in America.

The future of hemp is looking bright in Virginia. US Representative, Bob Goodlatte has jumped into legislation allowing farmers to start industrial hemp production. He says, “Now it is time to move from research to commercial production in the United States.”

Go, Bob!

The feet on the ground are all for marching forward, but hemp needs to come off of the Controlled Substance List. There are two ways this can happen.

Congress may choose to enact legislation to amend the list and the DEA can administratively remove it from the list.

Currently the bill is stuck in House Judiciary Committee where it has been for two years and different organizations are petitioning the DEA.

Jason Amatucci of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition believes that only time will tell, but things are at a standstill until legislation changes.


Growing hemp in Kentucky means something different for everyone who does it.

For Alyssa Erickson and Kirsten Bohnert, the “Kentucky Hempsters,” it means using their talents to reshape perceptions of central Appalachia.

For Mike Lewis, it means getting veterans back to work.

For Stephanie Brown, a weaver in Louisville, it means bringing old textile design to life in a new way.

For David Williams, a professor at University of Kentucky, it means incredible scientific access to research a crop that has been illegal for his entire life.

All eyes are on Kentucky where bipartisan support led by US Sen. Rand Paul, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer have made the state a leader in industrial hemp production.

In 2017 the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has approved 209 applications from growers who will plant 12,800 acres of hemp for research purposes.

But until Congress removes industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances, the state plans to just keep working to position itself as a leader in hemp production.


Mike Sullivan is the founder of Hemp Farm Colorado, an 80 acre hemp farm near Brighton, CO. He says, “We’re kind of in a little niche market in Colorado, but there is definitely interest.” “It’s a work in progress, my first year I grew 7 acres and I was the largest in the state.”

The hemp industry in Colorado has developed significantly since it was established in 2014. According to the CO Dept of Agriculture, almost 9,000 acres of land were registered to grow industrial hemp in 2016. That was a 145% increase over two years.

Despite its agricultural benefits growing industrial hemp is still illegal on the federal level and U.S has to rely on importing hemp products from other countries where hemp is already well-developed and in some cases, subsidized by the government.

Margaret MacKenzie raises hemp on Colorado’s Western Slope. She and her team are only able to to plant 15 of her Salt Creek acres to hemp because they have cattle that they need to raise hay for. But, she believes that her biggest contribution to the Hemp Revolution is to promote hemp farming on the Western Slope to get some money into the hands of farmers who have really been suffering.

For years, the only crop that was making any money was beans. Anyone growing anything else has not been making it. Margaret wants to be a voice for these farmers who are looking for a viable solution to their many challenges.

Mike Sullivan believes that hemp is going to be a leader in the agricultural community in Colorado and the nation. But that will only happen if we can get our American supply of hemp to a level where we can compete with the rest of the world.

The future is bright for hemp cultivation and when our elected officials clear the roadblocks to let let farmers grow hemp, we will experience all the blessings of industrial hemp. Hemp Heals. Everything.

Cat Stone
Colorado Hemp Clothing

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Hemp History in Colorado

Hemp was an important crop in America from Colonial times through World War II, when it was last widely planted across the heartland for the war effort.

Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky farmers key in 19th century hemp industry

Hemp crops quickly spread, and arrived in Kentucky  with settlers from Virginia just prior to the Revolutionary War, according to a 1919 article in the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin no. 22. These settlers set the stage for what would become one of the most important and long-standing hemp industries in America.

Along with Missouri and Illinois, Kentucky farmers produced most American hemp until the late 1800s, when demand for sailcloth and cordage began to wane as steam ships dominated the seas.

Hemp farming did not really extend past Nebraska

An article in the 5/26/1907 Denver Post reports that a mill to extract oil from flaxseed was to be built in Eastern Colorado by the Rock Island Railroad. The article explains that there had been enough success dry farming flax to warrant the building of the mill.


Here’s where the real news is though. Fulton S. White, agriculture and horticulture commissioner for Rock Island Railroad, announced plans to grow hemp in large quantities in the same area because, “Hemp always grows where flax will grow.”

His plan was to travel to Kentucky to bring back capitalists to select land to be used to grow the hemp. This was in 1907 and it was the first trip that the railroad had made into Colorado to talk about crops. I could not find any evidence that he was able to make this happen.

I did find mention in newspapers of hemp as a crop and how much it was going for at any particular time, but no other details.

I did find this little gem in the January 1, 1862 issue of The Rocky Mountain Herald:

Even though there is not a huge presence of hemp cultivation in Colorado’s history, there is in Colorado’s future.

Check back tomorrow to learn more about the future of industrial hemp in Colorado and our country.

Cat Stone

Colorado Hemp Clothing

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Past, present and future of the Colorado Hemp Industry

Happy Hemp History Week!

This week is a great time to look at the Hemp Industry; past, present, and future.

Colorado Hemp’s present and future are way more eventful than its past, so let’s dig in.

Today is the day to learn about the present state of Colorado’s hemp industry and the new Colorado Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association.

When you visit the COHIA website at you will find that their Mission is “to represent the interests of the hemp industry and to encourage the research and development of new products made from industrial hemp, low-THC oil seed and fiber varieties of Cannabis.”

So, how does an association represent the interests of its members, encourage research and development, and be an advocate for the interests of the members?

A good association looks inward to its membership, listening to them and learning about them to discover what they need and want.

An effective association represents the interests of its membership, bringing all the voices together and blending them into a cohesive message to be delivered to the world by one strong voice.

It’s all about communication, friends; communication in and communication out.

There is also tremendous value in all the communication that goes on within the association. Members network and support one another through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of information and expertise.

Let’s have a look at the specific goals that COHIA is set to achieve.

  • Give a voice to Hemp in Colorado from the farmer, to producer and into retail.
  • Become a grass roots, trade association for Industrial Hemp, which represents the will of its membership.
  • The national organizations are great advocates, but we need someone to focus on the needs of the Colorado Hemp industry.
  • Educate the public about the exceptional attributes of hemp products.
  • Facilitate the exchange of information and technology between hemp agronomists, researchers, processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
  • Maintain and defend the integrity of hemp products.
  • Advocate and support socially responsible and environmentally sound business practices.

Communication leads to effective representation. That is why, through the Listening Tour, COHIA in engaging with “hempreneurs” from all facets of the industry to learn what policies they want to see COHIA tackle.

So, let’s get the Hemp History Week Celebration started with the COHIA Field Trip rolling from the Western Slope to the Front Range, north and south. Learn about it here on the COHIA Facebook page

Happy Hemp History Week!

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COHIA “field” trip is bound to get Hempy

The converted mini-school bus of Hemp Road Trip, properly named “Hempy,” is literally political advocacy in action. Rolling along from state to state painted with “Hemp is not marijuana,” and the reasons why, Hempy comfortably transports educators of industrial hemp nationally and across state lines.
This upcoming week, Hempy has teamed up with the Colorado chapter of the Hemp Industries Association and Hemp History Week for a field trip toward Colorado’s Western Slope, Grand Junction, Saguache County, Crestone, Colorado Springs, La Junta, Denver, and finally Fort Collins. On Saturday, June 10th, Hempy circles back to Fort Collins, for a garden party that will conclude the adventure with yard games, hemp giveaways, and an art zone for kids. Find out more about this event and others here: And learn more about the COHIA here: The first ever COHIA “field” trip is a listening tour to work with and find solutions for Colorado’s industrial hemp farmers and their hemp fields. Come out to join the conversation.
The 8th annual Hemp History Week, June 5-11, 2017, is a national campaign advocating industrial hemp education and awareness. Working with grass-root organizers, HHW is “putting pressure on policy-makers, sending the strong message: Let American farmers grow hemp.” With events being held all over Colorado and the U.S., find a HHW event near you here:
If Hempy is not on the road (where the bus likes to be), it is often visible, parked out front of the state capitol building. #DoSomething is Hemp Road Trip’s reminder that everybody has a political voice, and can be heard.
See you on the bus!!
by Thomas Ivory Jr.
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2017 Legislative Overview by our Vice President Bethleen McCall

The 2017 Colorado Legislative Session concluded earlier this month.  There were four major bills addressing the industrial hemp industry. Below is a synopsis of each bill.

SB17-109 Industrial Hemp Animal Feed                                                         

Concerning the use of industrial hemp in products designed for consumption. 

The primary sponsors were Senator Donovan and Representative Arndt. The original intent to clarify that industrial hemp does not adulterate feed.   After several rounds of editing the final bill that was passed created a group under the Commissioner of Agriculture to study the feasibility of including hemp products in animal feed. The group is to include a hemp producer, a hemp processor, a legal expert, a person from an institution of higher education who has studied hemp policy, a veterinarian, a livestock producer, and any other person the commissioner determines would facilitate understanding the legal, practical, or business considerations. Governor Hicknelooper signed SB109 on March 20, 2017.  The group is to reach conclusions and make recommendation for further legislative action if necessary by December 31, 2017.  COHIA policy committee will be monitoring the progress of this group & any potential legislation for the 2018 session.  

HB17-1148 Registration of Industrial Hemp Cultivators

Concerning applications for registration to cultivate industrial hemp. 

The primary sponsors were Representative Arndt & Senator Cooke. This bill had two major parts, the first was to add a requirement that applicants of industrial hemp for commercial purposes provide the names of each officer, director, member, partner, or owner of 10% or more in the entity applying for registration and any person managing or controlling the entity.

The second part was to allow the Colorado Department of Agriculture to deny registration for up to 3 years if any individual or entity listed in the application was previously subject to discipline, or the individual or entity was previously listed by an entity that was subject to discipline. When a registration is suspended, revoked, or relinquished, a new application for registration may be denied for up to 3 years after the effective date of discipline.  The reason this was done is there was previously no avenue for the Department of Agriculture to deny outright offenders such as marijuana growers trying to abuse the system, from growing hemp in a succeeding year. This bill was signed by the Governor March 23, 2017.

SB17-090 Measuring Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol in Industrial Hemp              

Concerning how to measure the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in industrial hemp. 

The primary bill sponsors were Senator Baumgardner and Representative Bush. The bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to determine the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in industrial hemp by measuring the combined concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and its precursor tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.  This bill solidified the protocol that the Colorado Department of Agriculture has been using. The Governor signed this bill on March 16, 2017.

SB17-117  Recognize Industrial Hemp Agricultural Product For Agricultural Water Right

Concerning confirmation that industrial hemp is a recognized agricultural product for which a person with a water right decreed for agricultural use may use the water subject to the water right for industrial hemp cultivation.

Primary bill sponsors were Senator Coram and Representatives Valdez and Catlin.  This bill was ran in response to some surface water irrigators having problems accessing their water right out waters held in federal reservoirs.  The further clarification provided by this bill should assist those irrigated industrial hemp growers in accessing their water.  This bill was sent to the Governor for signature on May 1, 2017 and is expected to be signed in Southern Colorado on his bill signing tour around the State later this month.   

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