A baby hemp plant that has only just recently sprouted.


The Colorado Department of Agriculture will soon begin researching the use of hemp in livestock feed if Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a bill that passed the state legislature unanimously, the Greeley Tribune reports. Using hemp in animal feed is barred by the Food and Drug Administration because it considers hemp to be an adulterating substance.

The study would be led by the state Commissioner of Agriculture, who would issue a recommendation at the conclusion of the year-long study. The original bill would have allowed hemp to be used in the feed without a study; however state Sen. Kerry Donovan, who authored and sponsored the measure, said the study would help avoid a conflict with the FDA.

“The study should figure out how to more effectively reach the goal of how we can use hemp without it being confiscated or the FDA sending letters of cease and desist,” she said in the report.

Mike Sullivan, owner of Hemp Farm Colorado, said that allowing hemp in livestock feed would help solve one of the most pressing issues for hemp farmers – finding buyers for raw materials.

“One of the real big problems with the hemp industry is there’s hardly any processors out there that are buying materials straight from the farmer,” he said. “This would be a great leap forward.”

Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association, opposed the initial bill and indicated he would likely continue to oppose using hemp as cattle feed because hemp contains trace amounts of THC.

“I don’t think anybody that is buying a gallon of milk or a pound of beef would want to have that adulteration of that food product contain any level of THC … As a parent of three children, any level is unacceptable in their food,” he said. “I think the majority of consumers feel that way.”

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