Two months late and flawed, to boot.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) was almost two months late in supplying the U.S. Department of Agriculture with its State Hemp Management Plan.
Now, this week, the USDA sent a request for Colorado to clarify and revise certain elements of its plan that was submitted on June 18.
The CDA is reviewing the USDA’s comments and questions, which were not immediately released to the press. CDA spokesperson Mary Peck said that the agency is considering revisions as it continues to prioritize its work, representing the needs of the state’s industrial hemp registrants and stakeholders.
Colorado ag chief Kate Greenberg, in essence, put the blame for the problems in the state plan on the USDA.
“Given the many changes at the federal level, we are working hard to create a stable and sound regulatory environment so that Colorado’s hemp industry can continue to lead the nation,” Greenberg said.
She defended the state’s work by saying: “As we have done from day one, CDA is working through the state plan submission and approval process in a careful and comprehensive manner to best serve the needs of Colorado.”
The Colorado hemp plan was formulated after a months-long comment period, which generated feedback from numerous stakeholders statewide, including input from farmers, processors and product manufacturers, state and local government agencies, healthcare professionals, financial services providers, law enforcement, and academic institutions, as well as consultation with Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, as part of CDA’s Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan.
With the state’s fledgling hemp business reeling after a disastrous 2019 crop year and with planting for 2020 down almost 40%, the questions about the state’s plan could do further damage to the industry.