The Colorado Department of Agriculture has adopted rules governing the growth of hemp, a variety of marijuana cultivated for its course fiber.
Producers can begin to register with the department’s industrial hemp program on March 1. They must do so by May 1 to grow hemp during the 2014 season.
“These rules are the first step to allow Colorado producers to legally grow industrial hemp,” said Ron Carleton, deputy commissioner of agriculture.
The annual registration fee for commercial production of industrial hemp will be $200 plus $1 an acre. The annual registration fee for production of industrial hemp for research and development will be $100 plus $5 an acre. All registrations will be valid for one year from date of issuance.
All registrants are subject to sampling of their industrial hemp crop to verify the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Up to a third of registrants will be inspected each year. During the inspection, the registrant or authorized representative must provide the department access to all industrial hemp plants and seeds whether growing or harvested, all land, buildings and other structures used for the cultivation and storage of industrial hemp and all documents and records pertaining to the industrial hemp growing business.
The rules governing industrial hemp production follow passage in 2012 of a ballot measure legalizing the sale and use of recreational marijuana in Colorado starting in 2014. State legislation subsequently set up registration and inspection procedures for hemp.
The rules and additional information on industrial hemp is available by visiting the Colorado Department of Agriculture website at www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and clicking on industrial hemp.