DENVER (AP) — When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last year, they also legalized its industrial cousin, hemp. Since then, Colorado lawmakers have spent a lot of time reviewing marijuana, but they’re just starting work on regulating hemp.
A legislative committee plans to start work Wednesday on a bill directing the state Agriculture Department to license hemp growers starting next year. Hemp plants look like marijuana, but it lacks most of the psychoactive properties of its better-known cousin. Finished hemp is legal under federal law, but growing it is not, so states that legalize hemp must regulate it themselves.
The bill before Colorado lawmakers would create a registry for farmers seeking to raise hemp. The crop can’t be insured, so it’s unclear how many plan to grow it.
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