Hemp Industry Faces Growing Pains
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of agricultural hemp.
And while the Colorado Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program provides good information to educate and inform hemp producers and the general public nationally, there is still a lot of uncertainty.
There are still lots of challenges to ramp the new industry up to full speed.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke with hemp producers in Kentucky and was told about producers concerns about federally funded crop insurance for instance,
"We don't know what the capacity production of these crops are because they're new and we'll work through that. What we'll have for 2020 is called a Whole Revenue Farm Policy. That's typically done on specialty crops and crops where you can't ensure a crop itself but have a Whole Farm Revenue policy there."
Other challenges that hemp producers face in Colorado include a lack of standardized regulations across the country. Financial transaction issues are also still being ironed out, as are transportation issues. Producers are also working to alleviate fears by some policy makers as well as consumers who are still confused about hemp's relationship to the plant's cousin cannabis still illegal in many states.
Colorado is ahead of the curve in industrial hemp cultivation and production. The state launched one of the first successful pilot hemp programs in the United States more than five years ago.