May 13, 2022

Progress in Colorado

State Alert

As we reported last week, the Roundtable worked closely with a broad Colorado hemp industry coalition to improve SB 22-205, a bill that seeks to address the growing issue of intoxicating compounds being sold unregulated at retail under the hemp name. We opposed the original version of the bill because it contained too many provisions that went beyond the shared mission of limiting intoxicating compounds to adults, while permitting non-intoxicating hemp products at retail. We then worked hard to resolve a stalemate between hemp and marijuana industry stakeholders. As discussed here, a compromise version was agreed to in the last days of the legislative session.

We’re pleased to announce that this new version of the bill, with slight technical amendments, was overwhelmingly passed by the Colorado House and Senate bill during the final day of the session. Here’s the final bill. In summary, this legislation will:

  • Create a task force of hemp and marijuana industry representatives and government officials to intentionally study the topic of intoxicating compounds and propose legislative and rule recommendations. The task force will have broad representation from regulators, manufacturers, refiners, retailers, labs, consumer nonprofit organizations, and adult-use patients, and is intended to ensure that all viewpoints are captured and incorporated in whatever recommendations develop.
  • Provide immediate authority to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to develop regulations to prohibit the sale of chemically-converted and synthetically-derived intoxicating THC isomers.
  • Provide immediate authority—and nearly $600,000 in funding—to the Colorado Attorney General to crack down on deceptive trade practices and other consumer protection issues regarding hemp products.

The legislation has been sent to Governor Jared Polis, who is expected to sign it shortly. We are grateful to the Governor, his staff, and legislative leaders who listened to the hemp industry’s concerns and helped transform a flawed bill into one that will address our mutual concerns.

Most of all, we thank our Hemp Supporters for their engagement. Collaboration and persistence on this important issue ultimately won the day, demonstrating the critical role you continue to play when it comes to the latest topics in the industry. What happened in Colorado may even prove the model for how to thoughtfully and appropriately tackle intoxicating cannabinoids masquerading as hemp in the remainder of the states.