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Colorado is stable with hemp, as Governor Jared Polis proclaimed for the second year in a row the hemp week from June 6th to 13th in Colorado.
A U.S. hemp flag was hoisted in the Colorado Capitol to mark the close of Colorado Hemp Week last year, and the Colorado Hemp Association (COHA) planned to continue the tradition in 2021 – but not without a few changes.
The Kentucky Cloth Project did a good job making the U.S. hemp flag that will fly in 2020, but COHA wanted to localize the effort this year. It commissioned Margaret Eversole of Mesa County to sew both a US flag and a flag of the State of Colorado from hemp; You’re now flying through the Capitol through June 13th.
“It’s great that we can recognize our farmers and all the benefits this harvest has brought to Colorado. Raising the hemp flag over the Capitol has become a tradition that says, ‘We’re here as an industry and we’re sticking to it!’ ”Said COHA President Bethleen McCall in a statement.
Polis has an affinity for hemp flags that dates back to his time in the US House of Representatives. On July 4, 2013, the then-congressman used his Capitol Hill train to hoist Colorado-born Michael Bowman’s hemp flag over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, despite the flag’s source material being federally illegal at the time.
Margaret Eversole also designed a Colorado flag for the Capitol.
Courtesy of the Colorado Governor’s Office Colorado
Since his appointment as governor in 2018, Polis has made several pledges to the state’s hemp industry, including launching the Colorado Hemp Advancement & Management Plan (CHAMP) initiative after the Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp cultivation at the federal level in late 2018, according to the Department of Agriculture’s aim Introduce new rules for laboratory testing, easier access to finance, and more research into more reliable cannabis seeds and genetics.
Polis also pushed for easier registration of hemp growers and tax benefits for hemp companies wanting to be headquartered in Colorado, leading the state to have one of the highest percentages of allotted hemp growing land in the country. While an oversupply of hemp in 2019, the advent of Delta-8 THC, and a controversial start to the construction of a state research center for the Hemp Center of Excellence have put Polis’ relationship with industry leaders to the test, they were not enough to keep Hemp Week or that of Polis. stop showing at NoCo Hemp Expo in March promoting the hemp industry as a tool for post-COVID economic recovery.
“If anyone is ready to sow the seeds for quick recovery and growth for future generations, it is the hemp community, and especially the Colorado hemp community,” Polis told a room of the hemp industry members at the NoCo expo .
Colorado could use the good juju. Earlier this month, the CDA sent a revised draft of the proposed state hemp regulations to the United States Department of Agriculture, which now oversees hemp production at the federal level and must approve a state’s hemp framework in the future. Colorado’s first draft, which proposed looser testing and post-harvest rules than those of the USDA, was rejected in 2020.
“Hemp producers play an important role in the Colorado economy, and it is important that Colorado as a state do everything it can to create jobs and help consumers,” Polis said at the time.
COHA expects Colorado Hemp Week to continue next year, with plans to add a third flag in the Capitol: a hemp-sewn rainbow flag celebrating Pride Month.
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Thomas Mitchell has been a cannabis-related writer for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.