Colorado Continues Leading Hemp Industry, Submits Revised Hemp Management Plan
DENVER – Today, Colorado submitted a revised Hemp Management Plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Governor Jared Polis and Commissioner Kate Greenberg formally approved the plan, which builds upon the foundation of work and aligns to the Final Rule (FR).
“I’m proud Colorado is home to a strong hemp industry and that our state is the leader in the development of industrial hemp,” said Governor Polis. “The revised Hemp Management Plan gives Colorado’s hemp producers a realistic way to expand operations while also ensuring that testing is in place. Hemp producers play an important role in Colorado’s economy and it’s important that as a state Colorado does all it can to help create jobs and benefit consumers.”
Colorado has been at the forefront of efforts to develop a robust hemp industry since the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) launched a hemp pilot program in 2014. Since then, Colorado has been a national leader in hemp, rapidly scaling up production, launching an innovative certified seed program, diversifying supply chains, focusing on increasing processing capabilities and most recently rolling out an initiative to establish a statewide Hemp Center of Excellence.
CDA has strongly advocated for a workable federal regulatory scheme for hemp. After the USDA published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) for hemp in January 2020, CDA submitted detailed and comprehensive comments, met with senior USDA officials, and marshaled stakeholder and legislative responses with the goal of improving the outcome of the FR to make it more flexible for hemp producers. In January 2021, USDA responded to these efforts by publishing a vastly improved and revised Final Rule. While CDA will continue to advocate for additional rule revisions to create even more flexibility for producers, we are proud to submit the enclosed Colorado State Hemp Management Plan to the USDA for approval.
Colorado expects the USDA to approve the State Plan in the coming months in order for the state to develop and begin implementing starting January 2022.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.