Industrial hemp could be Colorado’s next cash crop. But until rules are crafted for the growing and processing of the plant, state officials are telling would-be hemp farmers to wait. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has more.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The state’s first hemp crop went into the ground last week in the southeastern town of Springfield, just a few days after state lawmakers passed rules for the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana. What’s not finished is a regulatory framework for industrial hemp. The plant is mostly used for its fiber, in products like clothing and lotions.

Ron Carleton is with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. He says his office phone has been ringing off the hook, with farmers wanting to know how soon they can put hemp in the ground.

“A lot of folks believe that industrial hemp has considerable promise and so they’re interested in when they can start.”

Carleton cautions farmers against jumping into the hemp game too quickly. It’s still illegal at the federal level. That kept Yuma County farmer Michael Bowman from planting hemp this spring.

“The risk of getting caught in this federal web is small, but it’s not nonexistent.”

State officials have until March of next year to come up with rules for governing hemp growers.

 

Comments are closed.

News

AFP/Getty Images
February 26, 2017 | NPR · North Carolina has a law banning sex offenders from social media. The state says sex offenders use sites to find future child victims. The court will decide if this is constitutional.
 

Richard Bull
February 26, 2017 | NPR · She dreamed of a better life outside her village in Nepal. But she was broke and had run out of hope. Then she tried a 31-mile trail race.
 

Elana Gordon / WHYY
February 26, 2017 | WHYY · After minor surgeries, many dentists used to reflexively prescribe quick-acting opioids to relieve a patient’s pain. Now they’re learning to counsel patients about better, less addictive alternatives.
 

Arts & Life

February 25, 2017 | NPR · Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, co-showrunners of the acclaimed series “The Americans,” about Russian spies in the Washington, D.C., area, look ahead a season amid newly tense times with Russia.
 

February 25, 2017 | NPR · NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with tattoo shop owner, Dave Cutlip of Brooklyn Park, Md., who has offered to cover up any racist or gang affiliated tattoos at no cost. Cutlip says sometimes people change.
 

Getty Images
February 25, 2017 | NPR · The Godfather was released 45 years ago this spring. NPR’s Scott Simon takes the anniversary as an opportunity to revisit some of his favorite lines from the classic film.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 25, 2017 | NPR · Filmmaker Bruce Spiegel speaks with Weekend Edition about the eight-year process behind Bill Evans: Time Remembered.
 

February 25, 2017 | NPR · His grandfather is author Larry McMurtry, his father is songwriter James McMurtry. So it’s no surprise Curtis McMurtry’s songs are full of vivid characters. His new album is The Hornet’s Nest.
 

A24
February 25, 2017 | NPR · The Academy has a history of baffling picks for Best Score — but this year’s nominees are so daring and startling that it’s hard to go wrong.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab