In November, Colorado voters will be asked if they want to remove industrial hemp laws from Colorado’s state Constitution, placing them instead under the state statute, reports KUNC.
The major change would be that laws in the statute can be modified by lawmakers — the Colorado Constitution, however, can only be changed by voters during a statewide election.
The initiative is sponsored by state Sen. Stephen Fenberg, who said he has his eye on upcoming federal hemp legalization and wants Colorado to be prepared. Colorado’s hemp laws require the plant contain 0.03 percent THC or less — a stringent requirement. If the 2018 Farm Bill, which is expected to be signed into law this week, sets a different acceptable THC percentage, Colorado could fall behind in the industrial hemp market if the state isn’t able to modify its hemp laws to match the national standard.
Some Colorado hemp farmers, like Garrett Hause of Lafayette, Colorado, are worried about upcoming changes. Growers in Colorado have spent years carefully cultivating hemp plants that meet the 0.03 percent THC requirement. It’s often a difficult task. Any plant that goes over the THC limit must be destroyed under state law.
Fenberg, however, thinks that the change is inevitable. “There’s a chance that if we don’t do this, the law could conflict in a way that it would actually make it so that our hemp industry suffers,” he said.