What's the difference between pot and parsley?

Blackberries and beets are on the list. So are horseradish, hops and horehound. Even wasabi, wormwood and watermelon are eligible to receive money under the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. But marijuana?

Sorry, says agriculture spokeswoman Christi Lightcap, "it would not fall under this specialty crops program. Although we help administer the grant, the money comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and falls under federal law."

In other words, since pot is still prohibited by the feds, Colorado can't use the cash to help subsidize farmers who want to grow marijuana -- medicinal or not.

Not that that policy won't change one day. Specialty crops make up about 10 percent of Colorado's total agricultural cash receipts, Lightcap says, or roughly $743 million. And pot would surely boost that total.

Want to try anyway? Grant proposals are due on March 1, and the money -- about $750,000 total -- will be available in August. For more information, log onto the state's agricultural website or call 303-239-4116.


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