Broomfield, CO –
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its interim final rule related to the establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program
. The rule establishes a new section specifying the rules and regulations to produce hemp. The action is mandated by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) and provides specific details on the process and criteria for USDA’s review of plans it receives from states and Indian tribes regarding the domestic production of hemp.
“Our teams are in the process of analyzing this detailed new rule and will leverage its directives in support of our state’s industrial hemp farmers,” said Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. “Colorado is a national leader within the developing hemp industry and we look forward to maintaining that leadership.”
“We are proud that Colorado is one of the best states in the country for hemp production and in an effort to continue that leadership we are excited to submit our state plan to the USDA in the coming weeks,” said Governor Jared Polis. “If we have more flexibility over THC concentration we would make sure we act responsibly to continue to position Colorado as the leading state for hemp-related jobs and products.”
In advance of detailed federal hemp guidelines, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) launched the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan
(CHAMP) earlier this year. The broad, collaborative stakeholder-based initiative is designed to outline best practices and define a well structured supply chain for hemp in order to establish a strong market for the state’s farming communities.
“Based on the rich discussions and input we are gathering through our CHAMP meetings, and following the framework of the 2018 Farm Bill, we are preparing to submit our state plan in a timely manner to USDA,” said Wondirad Gebru, Assistant Director, Colorado Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division.
To date, 14 CHAMP stakeholder meetings and three public input meetings have been held across the state. In Colorado, more than 88,000 acres are currently registered to grow industrial hemp, although not all of those acres are planted with hemp, and CDA has issued 2,634 hemp registrations as of October 29, 2019.
The interim final rule goes into effect immediately. USDA has 60 days to approve Colorado’s plan after it is submitted.