When Coloradoans overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 64′s marijuana legalization bill this past fall, they also voted to remove hemp from the state’s controlled substances list. This paved the way for legislators to legalize industrial hemp which the Colorado House unanimously approved on Monday.
The Tenth Amendment Center writes:
The Colorado state house today voted to approve SB13-241, a bill that would legalize the farming and production of “industrial hemp” within the state. If signed into law, the bill would effectively nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on hemp production in Colorado. The House voted unanimously on a slightly amended version of a bill already approved by the State Senate, 34-1. The legislation will now go back to the Senate, which is widely expected to send the legislation to Governor Hickenlooper for a signature.
The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production. The result? Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America. The United States is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp, which is used in food products, clothing, oil and much more. The top exporters are China and Canada.
The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Recent congressional researchindicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries. At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.
With the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults, hemp was removed from the state’s controlled substances list, though a provision of the initiative states that that hemp cultivation is contingent on legislative action – this bill would be that required action necessary to legalize hemp and authorize the state to begin distributing hemp licenses. Under the proposal farmers would have the option of applying for a 10-acre plot in order to study the viability of various hemp varieties, or they could apply for a larger, full-scale hemp farm – one that wouldn’t be limited by the number of plants, but rather by the THC content in said plants.
Colorado’s SB13-241 is more of a regulatory bill than actual legalization of hemp, because that essentially occurred in Amendment 64, but it was required to begin large-scale hemp production.
Kentucky joined Colorado last month as the second state to officially legalize industrial hemp when SB 50 was signed into law. However, Kentucky is waiting for federal approval before they move forward with cultivation.
Whereas Colorado appears to be disregarding the feds altogether and plowing forward with industrial hemp.