Denver, CO: Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation, Senate Bill 241, into law creating a new program within the Department of Agriculture to oversee the regulation of commercial hemp production. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Senate Bill 241 classifies cannabis possessing no more than three-tenths of one percent THC as an agricultural commodity and establishes a nine-member committee within the state Department of Agriculture to oversee the creation of regulations governing the licensed cultivation of hemp for commercial and research purposes. The Department must adopt regulations for the new program no later than March 1, 2014.
Unlike similar laws enacted in other states, SB 241 does not mandate farmers seeking state-issued hemp cultivation licenses to first gain federal approval. The US Controlled Substances Act makes no legal distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp.
Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending before Congress.
For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.