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Hemp-farming registry bill passes; first plants are bound for the ground

hemp cover 205x205.jpg
A bill to register hemp farmers with the state has been approved by lawmakers. Now all it needs is the governor's signature before a nine-member committee can begin assisting the Department of Agriculture in developing a process that will allow the good people of Colorado to engage in widespread planting.

"It feels really, really great," says advocate Lynda Parker, who was featured in our cover story, "Green Acres," about the the legalization of hemp in Colorado, which was made possible by Amendment 64.

"My goal has been to see Colorado hemp farmers put seeds in the ground without interference from the federal government," adds Parker, a retired Yellow Pages saleswoman who believes in the fibrous plant's potential to serve as a healthy, environmentally-friendly source of food, fiber, fuel and more.

"We're not quite there," she concedes. "In a couple of months, we'll know whether the second half of that sentence comes true or not. ... Once the harvest happens and we see no DEA agents, then my goal will have been accomplished."

Hemp, and the THC-laden marijuana, are still illegal at the federal level. The Controlled Substances Act classifies both hemp and pot -- collectively referred to in the law as Cannabis sativa -- as Schedule I drugs. Thus far, the feds have been silent on how they'll react to cannabis growth and use in states like Colorado that have legalized it.

Thumbnail image for hemp stalk from wikipedia 250x279.jpg
The inside of a hemp stalk.
The hemp bill, known as SB 241, specifies that farmers wishing to grow hemp must submit an application that includes the GPS coordinates and a map of the land on which they plan to grow. They would also be required to pay a fee, to verify that their crop would have a THC concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent and demonstrate that they have "entered into a purchase agreement with an in-state industrial hemp producer."

It also specifies that "the commissioner shall adopt rules by March 1, 2014."

Farmers who don't want to wait can grow up to ten acres right away under the auspices of a hemp phytoremediation study approved by lawmakers last year. The first-of-its-kind study seeks to find out whether industrial hemp can remove pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, from contaminated water and soil in order to make the soil "more conducive to crop production."

On Sunday, Parker and a fellow advocate plan to drive to southeast Colorado so they can be there on Monday morning when farmer Ryan Loflin puts his first hemp plants into the ground. Loflin, the president of Rocky Mountain Hemp, Inc., has been growing the plants indoors and plans to transplant about half an acre of them onto land owned by his family.

He says his plants will be "the first little established commercial crop" in Colorado. (Farmer and advocate Mike Bowman had hoped to be the first to plant hemp -- on Willie Nelson's April 30 birthday, no less -- but Parker says he hasn't done so yet. We contacted Bowman about his plans and will post something if and when he gets back to us.)

"As soon as this became an option in Colorado, I started heavily pursuing it," says Loflin. He hopes to eventually plant up to 75 acres and to build a 32,000-square-foot "state-of-the-art hemp processing facility" that will turn the plants into nutritious powdered hemp protein. "Eventually, it'll be added into processed foods," Loflin explains.

While he says he understands the risks of growing a plant that's still considered illegal by the federal government out in the open, Loflin says it's worth it to be the first to plant hemp in the state. "It's my crazy competitive nature," he says with a chuckle.

More from our Marijuana archives: "Marijuana: David Lane will sue over new rule treating pot magazines like porn."


Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com



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54 comments
mich.cannabisunivers
mich.cannabisunivers

Cannabis University, incorporated in Colorado since 2008, has formed Hemp Services™, an “in-state industrial hemp processor” of agricultural seed. The scalping facility is in Northern Colorado. Futures contracts with growers from around the state of Colorado are now available for industrial hemp processing. 

Cannabis University™ , in partnership with the not-for-profit Native American ministry, greenfaith, will separate seed crop from the hemp flowers that has been certified as having “no more than three tenths of one percent of THC, [.003%], dry.” C.R.S. 25-18.7-101(3). Hemp Services™ welcomes inquiries about entering into the required futures contracts. 1-303-886-7998.

fredkirsch
fredkirsch

Hemp for America is traveling to key Congressional districts  here in CO and in ND, IA, VA, and TX to organize citizen support for The Industrial Hemp FArming Act.  With the Republican leadership supporting and key players in key positions, we believe that a well directed grassroots push can make the difference!  http://communityfunded.com/projects/cforse/hemp-for-america/

Brooke Preston
Brooke Preston

I hope so. It can be used for nearly everything we use in our daily lives. And it's natural!!

Aundra Thompson
Aundra Thompson

Has it caught on since Henry Ford? No I have the hippy parents and know all about hemp

BuddJones
BuddJones

Kentucky hemp bill becomes law, Maine, New Hampshire and Colorado hemp bills move forward

Maine also moved forward with their hemp bill this week, with the proposal moving through the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee on a 9 to 1 vote. The House bill would allow Maine farmers to cultivate industrial hemp without the approval of the federal government.

And finally, New Hampshire Senate is taking up industrial hemp later today. The bill would remove hemp from the list of controlled substances at the state level, opening up the possibility of cultivation to farmers.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

Why would something as versatile and useful as hemp be a fad? You might want to research a few products that can be created with hemp, and hemp resin. Henry Ford built a car made of mostly hemp products, and it ran on hemp diesel.

BuddJones
BuddJones

 Support the Hemp Movement.

Do not drive drunk. Do not drive blitzed. Follow the simple instructions given to obtain a Colorado Medical Marijuana Card.

For all those who gave their time and effort to afford Colorado Medical Marijuana Patients and Recreational Users to rights that we now enjoy....Thank You.

Option A: Support your local dispensary that brings jobs as well as fills vacant storefronts and warehouses in your neighborhood.  

Option B: Craigslist has dozens of independent private growers that offer a wide variety of strains, grown just as meticulously and to perfection as those in dispensaries, and will gladly deliver to your door. 

Option C: Continue to obtain marijuana the same you always did before MMJ & Amendment 64

The current system works well for many who choose to work within it and the pending taxes will have little effect on the wise. Westword current advertisers offer ounces for $119 and Quarters for $35...and those prices will continue to plummet. For the patient or the recreational user this is a buyers market and idyllic environment for entrepreneurs. 

Marijuana is here to stay.

The Hemp industry is just a bellwether of things to come.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

......                 From the A64 Clusterfuck Files 


HB-1317 passed, last minute changes include:

1.     It expressly outlaws the “collective model” and requires that any sale or other distribution of marijuana be done only by a licensed dispensary. Known as the Rob Corry is an Idiot clause.

2.    9 month exclusionary period for new businesses, instead of 90 days.  

3.      The MED is required to implement a “seed to sale” tracking system for all marijuana sold.  

4.  No delivery of marijuana.

5.   There is a THC content limit for edible MIP products.


HB-1318, “the tax bill” passed

1.      There is a 15% excise tax that will be assessed for wholesale sales of marijuana to Retail Marijuana Centers.

2.   The excise tax will be based on an average market price established by the State.  The tax must be collected by the wholesaler and a report for such sales filed once a month.

3.  The excise tax applies to the transfer of marijuana from the grow to the retail center even if the business owns both the grow and retail center.

4.   There is a 10% State sales tax for marijuana sold by the dispensaries. This can be raised to 15% without voter approval.

5.   The sales tax will be shared with local governments, but local governments are also permitted to impose additional local taxes.



SB-283, the miscellaneous bill:

1.      Local governments may ban the use of butane and compressed gas for use in extraction.

2.    The bill creates a responsible vendor program that will require training. There will be created a “certified trainer” and all vendors must be certified.

3.    There will be no exception to the state smoking laws, so no private club or other such business will be allowed to permit marijuana smoking.

4.    No open containers of marijuana in vehicles.  The marijuana must be in an unopened, sealed container or be placed in the trunk.


Yeeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! ... this turned out EXACTLY how lyin' Brian Vicente and mendacious Mason Tvert planned it ... after all, they intensively worked on A64 and "debated every word" that went into the amendment.

                    **** REGULATION WORKS!! ****


BuddJones
BuddJones

Perhaps you cannot yet realize the importance of this. That is because your mind is referenced in the past.




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

VIII. CONCLUSIONS

Many have argued the merits of hemp fiber and oil -- superior fiber length and strength, excellent

oil quality for both industrial and feed uses, and a myriad of other applications. Despite these

claims, the global industrial hemp market has been on a downward trend for the last 30 years and

remains negligible in magnitude. World hemp fiber production has fallen to 55,500 metric tons,

one-fifth the level of the 1960s, while world hemp seed production has slipped to 33,000 metric

tons. 


Similarly, world exports continue to decline. Total world trade in industrial hemp fiber and seed

amounted to only $10.4 million in 1996! It appears that world trade in consumer-ready hemp

products has been on the increase, although statistics are not available to support that claim. 

Declines in the hemp market may be signaling that hemp profits are also on the decline -- either

absolutely and/or relative to other production alternatives.


Although hemp processing technology remains antiquated, new innovative fiber separation

techniques are being tested, particularly in western Europe. The lack of processing facilities and

other infrastructure necessary for a viable commercial hemp market in the US makes demand and

profit projections extremely speculative.


The silence of the large paper, textile and oil manufacturers is notable. Multinational companies

are not confined to the US for investment opportunities and have the capacity to invest in

production and processing facilities all around the world. Non-existent US industrial hemp

production does not impede their investment elsewhere. It is notable that foreign investment in

hemp processing facilities in China and Europe are small and logical to assume that these

decisions were based on prudent business sense.


None of the large multinationals has openly supported the legalization of hemp in the US. Why? 

Is it short-sightedness or disregard over abusing our natural resource base? Is it concern over the

confusion with marijuana? Or is it simply that they donít care? Corporate America is not

waiting for the US to legalize hemp. They have access to plenty of raw material and low labor

costs (China and Eastern Europe), and a stable economic and political environment where hemp

production is legal (the European Union). Why bother with the convoluted politics of America?

A good illustration of the lack of investment in the hemp industry is found in the hemp pulp

market. Currently, there are about 20 paper mills worldwide that use hemp as a fiber source
(along with flax, cotton, bagasse, sisal, abaca, and other annuals). This compares to thousands of

non-wood paper mills in the world. World hemp pulp production is estimated to be about

120,000 tons per year, or about 0.05% of the world ís annual paper production volume. About

half of these mills are located in China and India (the leading producers of industrial hemp

(cannabis sativa l. and sunn hemp respectively). The remaining mills are located in the western

world.


While wood pulp mills typically produce over 250,000 of wood pulp per year, average hemp pulp

and paper mills typically produce about 5,000 tons per year. Hemp pulp sells for about US$2100

per ton (again, for specialty paper uses) and typical bleached softwood pulp at US$800 per ton. 

Further, these small mills have difficulty in meeting western environmental regulations and hare

beginning to migrate to countries with more permissive environmental standards. (Van Roekel) 


Again, it must be emphasized that hemp production is not the problem. Of course, pulp is but

one use for industrial hemp. But, it is the challenge of improving hemp processing that will open

the doors of cost competitiveness. At the risk of being repetitive, the large multinational paper,

textile and oil companies are not stupid. Nor are they short-sighted. They also have research and

development budgets that would dwarf that of public universities. If they canít make hemp work

in the marketplace, what type of costs and return differential might small farmers and businesses

work towards? That is the crux of the great hemp debate.


http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/pubs/res_other/hemp98.pdf


BuddJones
BuddJones

 Lynda Parker will be successful. Anyone that could survive the ups & downs of the Denver Economy with such class & grace...while servicing 1000's of demanding clients year after....with accuracy & perfection.

Lynda knows the Market. This article underestimates her perseverance & tenacity.

This will be a company to watch.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I wasn't sure what a hemp farmer looked like and I have WW to thank for clearing that up for me .

hawk760
hawk760

we should combat the fed with machine gun fire fuck them they wish to do is inslave us and starve us and force us to use gmo evil foods we must demand our right at the cost of our blood the ground then they will know they have stolen out freedoms to promote super chem companies

that support these feds with bribes and coruption

BuddJones
BuddJones

 The last pieces of the puzzle are always the most difficult to put into place and it is the same with the mysteries of life. Budd Jones has lived the 420 Life long enough to know that Medical Marijuana has many medicinal benefits beyond muscle spasms. Cannabis in Colorado has always been as easy to find as the next day's newspaper. Legalize Cannabis is a movement that all Colorado citizens should support.

All Medical Marijuana patients, those that support the legalization of Marijuana, and anyone who wishes for the economy the resurface....should support Hemp growers and those that use the product.

Back on the streets, have a strategy in mind when you shop Denver dispensaries next time you need your medical marijuana prescription refilled. Ask for discounts, samples, two for one specials, giveaways, and anything else you can get for free. Yes it is hard on a struggling business but life is hard on the unemployed, the uninsured, and the uneducated. Cannabis is a universal drug that everyone can share and enjoy. Call it Medical marijuana, Pot, smoke, weed, hemp, or Bang Bang Boom, its all good!

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

Soon we won't have to import all of our hemp products from Canada.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Oh boy ... those $200 / acre future Hemp Tycoon Bazillionaires are going to save the entire U$ economy!

Hey Kevin Hunt and Stuka ... you got your magic hyper-space acre of organic hand-planted free-range hemp in the ground yet?


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

Hemp was planted around the area of the Fukushima disaster to extract radiation and pollutants from the surrounding soils....This wasn't really widely reported on by any corporate media.....Seems this would be a more important story than the Kardashians but nonetheless, and extremely 'beneficial' plant to humanity.....Hence it's prohibition... These folks 'destroy', they do not create....

nickcarefoot
nickcarefoot

Cannabis cures cancer, and it has always stood in the way of toxic man made chemical 'miracle drugs' since the 1800s and is nothing but beneficial to humans unlike government which has been and always will be the leading cause of human death. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rob Payne ... Fred Flintstone built a car mostly of rock, and it ran on human power.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Aundra Thompson... yep ...  just like Chinchilla Ranches and Dental Floss Farms.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BuddJones@BuddJones "Option B: Craigslist has dozens of independent private growers that offer a wide variety of strains, grown just as meticulously and to perfection as those in dispensaries, and will gladly deliver to your door. 

Option C: Continue to obtain marijuana the same you always did before MMJ & Amendment 64 "


The only thing resembling reality that you've posted in the few days since you began spamming your rambling hippie nonsense.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BuddJones

I might be movin' to Montana soon

Just to raise me up a crop of Dental Floss
Raisin' it up

Waxen it down
In a little white box
I can sell uptown
By myself I wouldn't
Have no boss,
But I'd be raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Well I just might grow me some bees
But I'd leave the sweet stuff
For somebody else...
but then, on the other hand
I'd Keep the wax N' melt it down
Pluck some Floss N' swish it aroun'
I'd have me a crop
An' it'd be on top

(that's why I'M movin' to Montana)

Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon
(yes I am)
Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a mennil-toss flykune
I'm pluckin' the ol' Dennil Floss
That's growin' on the prairie
Pluckin' the floss!
I plucked all day an' all nite an' all Afternoon...
I'm ridin' a small tiny hoss
(His name is MIGHTY LITTLE)

Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay !

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay The only people 'debating' anything are morons like you who still can't figure out that the powers that be have a 'monopoly' on products in this country and ANYTHING that is beneficial, cost-effective, or life-saving to humanity will be demonized with the help of the media. You aren't going to sell too many cancer pills if some poor soul can grow this medicine in the backyard for FREE, can you? You can't prop up a logging and energy industry with a product that can be produced cheaply and independently, now can you?......We have the technology RIGHT NOW to save the planet.....Keep bending over and asking for seconds, fool.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mitch Siff ... why do you hate Canada?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines 

Corporate America is not waiting for the US to legalize hemp.

They have access to plenty of raw material and low labor costs in China and Eastern Europe where hemp has been legal for decades
, and a stable economic and political environment where hemp production is legal in the European Union. 

The large multinational paper, textile and oil companies are not stupid. Nor are they short-sighted. They also have research and development budgets that would dwarf that of public universities.

If they can't make hemp work in the marketplace on industrial scales
, what type of costs and return differential might small farmers and businesses work towards? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 ... get busy planting, you Hemp Tycoon, every acre you miss is another $200 lost.


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelines

PHYTOTECH SPECIALIZES IN PHYTOREMEDIATION, THE GENERAL TERM FOR USING PHYTO (PLANTS) TO REMEDIATE (CLEAN UP) POLLUTED SITES. PHYTOREMEDIATION HAS BEEN USED TO REMOVE RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS FROM SOIL AND WATER AT FORMER WEAPONS PRODUCING AREAS. IT CAN ALSO BE USED TO CLEAN UP METALS, PESTICIDES, SOLVENTS, EXPLOSIVES, CRUDE OIL, AND TOXINS LEACHING FROM LANDFILLS.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines @DonkeyHotay 

Try the freshly minted U$ installed democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

... oh wait ... why did the U$A not fabricate a mirror image carbon copy of their precious "constitutional republic" in those tabla rosa nuvo governments?

Why does America hate America?


betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay We are a Constitutional Republic. Why do you hate America so much? Syria has elections as well... :)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines "our state and federal government(s)"

That THE PEOPLE elect, and re-elect ... every 4 years!!

Ain't Democracy Great ??

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelinesNo, I believe it is illegal because our state and federal government care so much about their own people, they feel the need to 'save us' from ourselves through the barrel of their guns and locked away in their prisons. Sarcasm. You are a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines 

[ cue sound loop of crickets chirping ]

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines

Translation: you have no rational explanation, "scientific" or otherwise.

So where -- exactly -- do the radioactive elements go once magically removed from the soil by the hemp plant, given their half-lives of THOUSANDS of YEARS?

By what physical mechanism or botanical process does the hemp plant transport and extract non-soluble heavy metal radioactive elements from the nearby soil?

Come on, don't be shy -- give us your best "scientific" explanation.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines

 ... so does it remove the "radiation" or the "radioactive elements" from the soil?

How -- exactly -- does the plant remove these radioactive elements from the soil?

More importantly, WHERE do these STILL RADIOACTIVE elements then go? Magically disappearing into the wishful thinking of hempster hippies?

What is unique and special about the plant physiology of hemp that it does this "radiation removal" compared to ANY OTHER crop?

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