Attaining a license to farm hemp in Colorado was already easier than it is in most of the country, and it just got even easier. According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, as of today, November 21, you can apply online to farm hemp.
Hemp is no longer a rare American crop, now that farming it is federally legal. States such as Oregon and Montana are closing in on or surpassing Colorado's hemp production — but by letting hemp farmers apply, pay for and submit their applications online through the CDA's Hemp Online Portal, CDA hemp program manager Brian Koontz thinks Colorado will attract new hemp farmers.
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“Colorado leads the nation in registered land area for industrial hemp cultivation,” Koontz says in a statement. “Our plants team has worked tirelessly for many months to keep pace with unprecedented demand and serve stakeholders across the state. This new registration process will help us continue to stand as a leader in the industry.”
Colorado has embraced hemp on a wide scale over the past five years, with the CDA and Governor Jared Polis pushing tax and licensing policies that make it cheaper for hemp companies and farmers to establish headquarters in Colorado.
According to the CDA, 2,634 industrial hemp applications have been processed in Colorado since 2014, with a total of 89,743 acres and 15.4 million square feet of indoor grow areas registered in 2019 alone. Colorado farmers have harvested around 51,227 acres of hemp so far this year, the department adds.
Farmers wanting to apply for a hemp license previously had to apply by mail. The move aligns hemp farming applications with other CDA applications that can be submitted online, such as for nursery owners and seed producers.