“Importation of viable industrial hemp seed across State lines and Country boundaries is illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Industrial Hemp Regulatory Program Act:
Rules Pertaining to the Administration and Enforcement of Industrial Hemp Regulatory Program Act – 8 CCR 1203-23
The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s regulatory role with Industrial Hemp is limited to registration of growers and inspection of crop. The State of Colorado has no jurisdiction over many other factors that producers are faced with. While Colorado legalized the production of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis spp), growing it is still considered illegal by the Federal Law. The following issues may cause concern for those interested in growing this crop in Colorado.
- Seed Procurement/Seed Quality - Seed that exists in Colorado may be variable and have unknown THC levels. Random sampling of hemp fields will be conducted. Plant samples testing at levels higher than 0.3% THC will be in violation of the Colorado Industrial Hemp Registration and Production Act. Importation of viable industrial hemp seed across State lines and Country boundaries is illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
- Pesticides - There are not any pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) currently registered for use on Cannabis spp. (Industrial Hemp and marijuana) due to the predominant federal nature of pesticide regulation. The CDA is putting together a list of pesticides that could be used on Cannabis spp. and not constitute a violation of pesticide labeling or other federal and state pesticide laws and regulations. This list will be extremely limited.
- Federal farm programs such as crop insurance, farm loans and conservation reserve may be jeopardized if industrial hemp is planted; these programs are managed by USDA a Federal Agency. Contact a lawyer for legal advice.
- Banking – banks including state-chartered banks may be reluctant to provide services to Cannabis growers for fear of being prosecuted for federal laws and regulations violations.
- Processing - Industrial hemp must be processed prior to shipment out of Colorado. Colorado’s industrial hemp rules state that industrial hemp producers must provide documentation of in state processing as part of registration. It is unknown at this time how many processing facilities will be available in Colorado at time of harvest.
- Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution directed the General Assembly to enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp. Legislation adopted in 2013 delegated the responsibility for establishing registration and inspection regulations to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
- The new rules, to be published as 8 CCR 1203-23, will sets forth the requirements of registration and inspection. These rules will be adopted and effective by early 2014. The registration deadline is May 1 of each year, beginning in 2014.
- Industrial Hemp means a plant of the genus Cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.
- Two types of registration will be allowed: Research and Development (R & D) and Commercial.
- R & D is limited to 10 acres or less and will be charged a registration fee of $100 plus $5/acre.
- Commercial registrants are not limited in size of acreage and will be charged a registration fee of $200 plus $1.00/acre.
- When registering, applicants must provide:
- contact information
- maps that include GPS locations of all growing locations and varieties planted
- affidavits or lab tests showing that the crop planted will produce a THC content of 0.3% or less
- CDA will select at least one third of registrants each year for field sampling and verification of 0.3% or less THC content
- Costs of field sampling and lab testing incurred by the Department will be passed on to the registrant.
- Fees for field sampling are currently $35/hour and will include drive time, sampling time and any per diem or room charges incurred by the Department’s representative(s).