Hickenlooper Signs Industrial Hemp Bill Into Law
KREX News Room
PALISADE, Colo. Supporters of hemp cultivation in the United States are one step closer to seeing that happen. Governor Hickenlooper signed SB13-241 into law. The legislation authorized the state of Colorado to begin distributing hemp licenses.
With the United States being the largest importer of hemp in the world, activists say it's a positive step forward.
"Coloradans can now take advantage of the market and grow hemp themselves, apply for a permit, and begin producing hemp," said free market activist and Palisade peach farmer David Cox
Farmers can now apply for a 10-acre plot to study hemp varieties, or request a larger farm.
"It is definitely going to bring recognition to this issue and bring credibility to the fact that hemp is nothing more than an extremely useful industrial plant, synthetic fibers, for seed, for oil, replenishing ground," said Cox.
Owner and manager of Rancho Durazno, Thomas Cameron, said, "I could maybe look into that. We are a fruit orchard, but we need to do rotational crops, something to rejuvenate the soil."
"As far as the climate's concerned, hemp will grow nearly anywhere in the world," said Cox.
While Colorado is making strides on the state-level, top lawmakers are also pushing to make history.
"Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have introduced legislation accompanying the farm bill, which would make it legal for farmer anywhere in the United States to grow hemp," Cox said.
"Somebody's going to make fast money, then maybe production will go up and it'll become a commodity in the long-run perhaps," said Cameron.
"I think that this gives farmers a lot confidence to move forward with hemp," Cox said.
While the fight is slow, hemp supporters grow more hopeful with each step forward.