Colorado Amendment 64 passed, allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp. Most of the current buzz about the amendment is about legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes in the state. What has not made the national headlines is that Amendment 64 also included legalizing industrial hemp.
Some key excerpts from Amendment 64 concerning hemp:
In the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the cannabis plant, the people of Colorado further find and declare that industrial hemp should be regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.
“Industrial Hemp” means the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent on a dry weight basis.
“Marijuana” or “Marihuana” does not include Industrial Hemp, nor does it include fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is capable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink, or other product.
No later than July 1, 2014, the general assembly shall enact legislation governing the cultivation, processing and sale of Industrial Hemp.
Hemp is truly a wonder plant. There are over 25,000 confirmed uses for industrial hemp that include clothing, paper, plastic alternatives, building materials, and much more. Most products made from plastic, wood, or cotton can be made with hemp.
What does this mean for Colorado farmers? For starters, hemp requires very little water and no pesticides and herbicides. With drought conditions in the state, hemp is the most viable cash crop to plant under these conditions. In addition to ease of growing, one acre of hemp can provide the same amount of fiber as four acres of cotton. While hemp cultivation has been outlawed in the US, manufacturers of hemp products in the US have been thriving in recent years. Given the difficulty of importing raw hemp for manufacturing, our farmers already have immediate demand for their new crops in existing and expanding domestic markets. Simply put, farming industrial hemp will provide the US with manufacturing jobs, expand green initiatives, and provide our struggling agriculture industry with a cash crop that can be grown across the country.
EnviroTextiles is a pioneer in the Industrial Hemp industry, having overseen hemp cultivation and textile manufacturing in Romania, China, South Korea, Hungary, and Poland over the past 22 years. Conveniently located in Colorado, EnviroTextiles is poised to take full advantage of the ability to grow industrial hemp and is currently completing a vertical operation to produce hemp products in Colorado.
Summer Star Haeske