Senate Bill 13-241, a bill that would lift the federal ban on industrial hemp within the state borders of Colorado if it were to pass, unanimously passed through the state’s House of Representatives in early May.
If it were to become law, the legislation would “repeal the industrial hemp remediation pilot program in the department of public health and environment, enacted by House Bill 12-1099, and replace the pilot program with a program in the department of agriculture that requires a person seeking to engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes or to grow industrial hemp for research and development purposes to register with the department.” Essentially, the bill would rename the department’s program regarding hemp and what it can be used for.
After passing the House with a 34 to 1 vote the legislation was sent back to the Senate after being slightly amended. Just days later the bill flew through the Senate for the second time and was then on its way to Governor Hickenlooper for a potential signature or veto. Last week Coloradoans were thrilled that their governor signed the legislation into law making it legal to grow, harvest and use hemp in a variety of ways.
Hemp, which contains less than 1% of the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is very versatile as it can be used in hundreds of different ways, can be utilized to create numbers of different products and is also highly nutritious.
According to Hemp Industries Association, the hemp industry is among the oldest on the planet and actually dates back to around 8,000 BC. After all, United States founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson cultivated hemp themselves.
The bark from the hemp stalk can be used to make fiber, which in turn can be transformed into paper products, textiles and more. Hemp seeds also contain more healthy fatty acids than any other food and can be used to make a variety of dishes. Clearly, it can be exploited in ways that will advance and broaden scores of other industries and ultimately can boost Colorado’s economy.
It comes as no surprise for most that Governor Hickenlooper signed the bill, though. SLN reported this week on Hickenlooper signing a bundle of legislations into law – some that deal with hemp’s cousin – marijuana. The bills were related to the most controversial of all cannabis conversations: recreational use.
With the governor’s consent, Coloradoans who are at least 21 years of age are now legally able to own as much as an ounce of marijuana and grow no more than six marijuana plants. Also, out-of-state visitors who are at least 21 years of age are granted access to holding an ounce of marijuana at a time but only ¼ ounce of per each single transaction. Dispensary stores are planning on opening in January of 2013.