Hemp: Thirteen producers hold twenty registrations after first month

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Ben Droz
Thirteen producers have registered to legally grow hemp in Colorado in the month since registration began, according to the state Department of Agriculture. However, those thirteen producers hold a total of twenty registrations, as several of them are registered to grow in more than one location or for more than one purpose. Ten of the registrations are for commercial purposes, while the other ten are for research and development. We spoke with three producers, who told us about their plans for planting marijuana's sober stepsister.

Veronica Carpio, the owner of Colorado Hemp Coffee and the administrator for Grow Hemp Colorado, currently holds two registrations: one for commercial growing and one for research and development. Her plots, which are located in Boulder County, are just an acre each. She hopes to use the commercial plot to grow hemp for her coffee and other products she's developing, and the R&D plot to attempt to cross-breed some seed strains.

The availability of seed is the biggest hurdle to growing hemp on a large scale, Carpio and others say. There is virtually no seed available since hemp, which is still illegal at the federal level and in most states, hasn't been widely grown in the United States since World War II. "You're lucky if you get your hands on them at this point," she says.

But Carpio is hopeful that will change after the upcoming growing season. She and other producers hope to spend the season multiplying what little seed they have. "We do have some of best growers in Colorado," she says.

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Ben Droz
Hemp seeds.
Paul Lembeck, the owner of Global Heritage Seed Co., has a plot in downtown Longmont that's even tinier than Carpio's at just about thirty feet by thirty feet. Located just a few blocks from Main Street, Lembeck calls it his "little victory garden."

But the researcher, who's registered to grow hemp for research and development, doesn't have plans to start a massive hemp farm. Instead, he's focusing on helping other growers test their plants and developing seed strains that meet state regulations. Those regulations require that hemp plants grown in Colorado contain less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that makes a person feel high.

"Once you've got that dialed in, you can start tweaking it for whatever you want," Lembeck says. "Like dogs, cannabis is an amazing, plastic genetic wonder organism. You can go from a chihuahua to a Great Dane pretty quickly."

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Ben Droz
Hemp plants.
Ben Holmes, the horticultural wizard and entrepreneur behind Centennial Seeds in Lafayette, predicts that because of the seed shortage, this growing season will be "purely technical." If a farmer plants one pound of seed this spring, Holmes says he can expect to yield two hundred pounds of seed at the end of the season. At that rate, it will take a couple years before Colorado is producing bumper crops of hemp -- especially given that "many people have just a handful of seeds, like twenty seeds," Holmes says.

Holmes is among those who have a small amount of seed. He also has one commercial registration and plans for a couple more that he says will probably be registered for research and development purposes. Holmes plans to begin planting in mid-May.

For those interested in growing hemp, the Hemp Industries Association is hosting an event tonight in Brighton called the Colorado Industrial Hemp Farming Symposium. Admission is $15 and the topics to be discussed include how hemp is grown and processed, realistic expectations for farmers interested in cultivating it and how to do so now that Colorado has legalized it. Ron Carleton, the deputy commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, will be in attendance, as well as farmers and other experts.

The event is scheduled to take place tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Adams County Government Center Conference Center, 4430 South Adams County Parkway in Brighton. For more information, visit the Hemp Industries Association website.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Hemp: Read final regulations for growing industrial hemp in Colorado."


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



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15 comments
Jack L Eich
Jack L Eich

legalize nationwide for recreation or medical,and allow us to grow our own

lovingrebecca
lovingrebecca

Wow!!!! people Doing registration so fast. Seems like people are so hungry of earn money faster. hahahahhaa!!!

anyways i think i the stock will be full in every weed dispensaries. last week i bought some weed through http://www.weedlynx.com. Expecting that now there should be some advantage in getting weed in a cheaper rate.

Joseph Grundl
Joseph Grundl

Decriminalize, register to plant a seed what load of crap.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

It'd be funny if people planted copious amounts of hemp around and near the major dispensary grow sites ... so that the POLLEN from the hemp completely seeds and ruins their marijuana crops.


Ouch!



Monkey
Monkey

Longmont officials will freak out when they see cannabis growing a few blocks away from main street. They will be testing that crop for over 0.3% THC every day, considering they banned all marijuana businesses.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"legalize nationwide for recreation or medical"


Will NEVER happen.

veronica210
veronica210

only state ag will test for thc...not local authorities. boulder county da was on hemp rule making committee and im sure longmont will be fine with hemp.also a64 didnt give local power to band hemp like mj.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  ... well, they banned all marijuana related businesses, so they could easily interpret that to include all strains and varieties of marijuana, regardless of how much THC it does or doesn't have.


And being that A64 grants every City and County the power to ban any/all commercial marijuana businesses, any city/county could easily amend their rules to ban hemp too.



Monkey
Monkey

@veronica210  The city planner hates weed so much, he wont let this happen. My guess, he'll deny the city's change in use application, and instruct council to ban Hemp production within city limits. But he could allow a conditional use, where the owner can grow it, but the city is allowed to test the crop at any time, to make sure it's below the 0.3% THC limits, and not the evil form of cannabis that scares him. But I bet this guy wont even get a seed in the ground before city officials freak out and save the children from Hemp.    

Monkey
Monkey

@veronica210  It's called a "change in use application", it has to be done for any change in use on any commercial property, and has nothing to do with Hemp. I don't know what it's zoned for, but considering it's a few blocks from Main St., It might be residential. If it is just a backyard of someones home, and being grown for business purposes, the city also requires a "home occupation application", so they could deny that too, for many reasons. 

This is America, you can't do anything without government control, not even in your own backyard.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@veronica210  


Boulder is the same county that changed their zoning regulations to prohibit marijuana cultivation on Agriculturally zoned land.


Yes, in Boulder it is unlawful to grow the agricultural crop marijuana on agriculturally zoned land. Only INDUSTRIAL zoning is allowed.


With idiots as clueless as that in charge, it won't be difficult for them to fuck up industrial hemp production. Expect environmental impact studies to be required.


veronica210
veronica210

no they/he can not do that. there is no local app process for hemp, only state.

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