What Federal Hemp Legalization Means for Colorado Farmers

The 2018 Farm Bill has passed both the United States Senate and House of Representatives, with President Donald Trump expected to sign it — including its new provisions regarding hemp.

The language in the Farm Bill would provide some closure on the plant's ambiguous status across fifty states. But this big step might also create more questions than it answers.

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"For a state with an existing hemp pilot program, like Colorado, there might need to be certain changes to reconcile the verbiage, mechanics and procedures of state law with the USDA-regulated hemp scheme," explains Hoban Law Group attorney Garrett Graff, who specializes in regulatory and legislative practices for licensed hemp businesses.

Graff applauds the "clarification and affirmation" of legalizing hemp at the federal level, and doesn't think the framework of Colorado's hemp regulations will change much beyond some fine-tuning to align the state's rules with forthcoming federal policy.

"For all intents and practical purposes, I don't expect an overhaul being necessary, nor do I expect an interruption in Colorado's hemp pilot program," he says. "This also removes any uncertainty, whether the DEA is involved with [hemp enforcement] at all."