Colorado poised to be leader in new national hemp market

DENVER -- One of Colorado’s cash crops, hemp, now stepping into the national spotlight, with the passage of the Farm Bill by the House and Senate. The bill, still waiting for President Trump’s signature, would take hemp off of the controlled substances list.

In Colorado, it opens the door for even more business opportunity for the state that leads the nation in hemp production.

In one of his farms just east of Denver International Airport, John Lee with the Hemp Consulting Group says the industry has plenty of room to grow in the state.

“We have 56 hoop houses up and they’re actually being built as we speak,” Lee said.

Lee says the bill will allow American farmers to make more money, and protect that investment. Part of the bill lets farmers insure their hemp crops, which previously was prohibited. It also gives them access to banking, and a bigger base to sell products nationwide. Farmers also don’t have to look over their shoulder anymore, worrying if the feds will shut them down.

Right now the products from hemp range from clothes, to CBD-based products and more. Lee says the crop’s versatility is unmatched.

“There’s nothing on this planet that’s been able to utilize so many different industries as this plant here,” Lee said. “The whole fiber side will change how we print paper, how we build houses.”

It remains to be seen what changes or tweaks Colorado lawmakers need to make to state regulations to meet new federal standards set by the USDA.

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