May 03, 2022

Positive News from Colorado

State Alert

It’s been a long hard slog for hemp legislation in the Mile High City – and there still is a lot of work to do. But we are excited to announce that a breakthrough agreement was reached on SB 22-205, legislation that is aimed at addressing the growing issue of unsafe intoxicating compounds being sold unregulated at retail under the hemp name

As a reminder, a few weeks ago, SB 22-205 was introduced to a wave of criticism from both the hemp and cannabis industries. Here was our critique. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable got to work, negotiating with the Governor’s office, leading legislators, and hemp and cannabis industry stakeholders. Most critically, we worked closely with the Colorado Hemp Association, the Realm of Caring and leading Colorado CBD manufacturers, Charlotte’s Web and Balanced Health Botanicals, and other stakeholders to develop a united hemp industry front. (Here was the Roundtable’s original proposal, and here was our joint hemp industry proposal.)

Late last night, with our industry partners in the Capitol in fierce negiotiations, the Colorado Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee passed the amendment linked here that represented a compromise between the hemp and marijuana industries. Like any compromise, no one is 100% happy with the final results. There are a few technical errors that should be fixed tomorrow in the Senate Finance Committee. Afterwards, the Senate Appropriations Committee will ensure that there are appropriate levels of funding for the activities outlined in the bill. And even after these improvements, there is still much left unresolved, which will be the focus of future negotiations and debates.

However, we are happy to see that this bill is built around the framework that we recommended – it empowers the state to prohibit bad actors from selling unsafe, mislabeled, intoxicating products into retail and pushes to a stakeholder-driven regulatory process permanent decisions on how to define “intoxicating.” There are no milligram limits – serving size or container size – at this point.

While many more months of hard work lay ahead of us, it is appropriate to pause and say thanks. Thanks to the hemp companies and organizations that fought tooth and nail for the industry’s interests. Thanks to Governor Jared Polis, his staff, and his administration for listening to the industry’s concerns and ensuring a resolution that would help propel hemp farmers and businesses forward. Thanks to legislative leaders, particularly Senate President Steve Fenberg, for their persistence in ensuring legislative passage.

And as always, thanks to you, our Hemp Supporters, for making your voices heard in the halls of power. Rest up, because we will need your voices again once the regulatory process commences.