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

AP
February 19, 2019 | NPR · The president is in a Twitter war with California Gov. Gavin Newsom over the rail project and the president’s emergency declaration to build a border wall.
 

February 19, 2019 | NPR · A runway model who objected to the impression made by the drawstring says she was initially told to “keep it to yourself.”
 

AFP/Getty Images
February 19, 2019 | NPR · Yang Fenglan, who has lived in Tanzania on and off for decades and operated a Chinese restaurant, was found guilty of working with two Tanzanian men to smuggle more than 800 pieces of ivory.
 

Arts & Life

February 19, 2019 | NPR · A runway model who objected to the impression made by the drawstring says she was initially told to “keep it to yourself.”
 

National Geographic
February 19, 2019 | NPR · With a proliferation of streaming services to distribute their work, and a boom at the box office, budgets and opportunities are rising for documentary filmmakers.
 

Getty Images
February 19, 2019 | NPR · The German-born designer helped define the looks of Chanel and Fendi behind the scenes, even as he cut a titanic figure center-stage in the fashion industry. Chanel confirmed Lagerfeld’s death Tuesday.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 19, 2019 | NPR · Saxophonist and composer Greg Ward’s Stomping Off From Greenwood is a love letter to the city where he came of age as a musician.
 

Courtesy of the artists
February 19, 2019 | WXPN-FM · Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn, The Three O’Clock’s Danny Benair and The Bangles’ Vicki Peterson share stories and songs from their new collab album, 3 x 4.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 19, 2019 | NPR · The New Zealand singer says her strangely alluring video for the song “The Barrel” has been described as “Amish Sci-fi.” But its ultimate meaning depends on what you think you see.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab