Colorado has won quite the reputation among U.S. states, for a number of reasons. For most Americans, the term “the mile-high” state is a clever double-entendre, alluding both to the high physical elevation of the state and the affinity for marijuana that many of its citizens have come to enjoy. While there might be a little exaggeration in the way many imagine Colorado’s marijuana legalization framework to be, there’s a bit of truth behind the stereotype; the state offers some of the most relaxed cannabis and CBD laws in the country.
When it comes to hemp regulation, each state that has legalized the substance has its own regulations. As a result, it is best to stay abreast of any changes that are occurring in one’s state. In this post, the discussion will address regulations in Colorado, which not only has legalized hemp, but also has 386 licensed growers with 12,062 outdoor acres, and 2.35 million square feet that have been licensed for outdoor cultivation, according to Telluride News.
Is CBD Legal in Colorado?
CBD is completely legal in the state of Colorado. The Farm Bill 2014 legalized the industrial hemp industry in all fifty states, making it legal for anyone over the age of eighteen to purchase CBD products, as long as the products remain below the federal limit for THC content—0.3%. CBD products which exceed this limit are considered to be marijuana products, and can only be purchased under the state’s regulatory framework for adult-use or medical marijuana.
These laws come with additional regulations, namely about where the products can be purchased and by whom they may be used. In Colorado, adult-use marijuana users must be over the age of twenty-one, and their marijuana products must be purchased exclusively from licensed dispensaries all over the state. For medical marijuana, the regulations are similarly stringent in the “mile-high state.” Consumers must gain access to a medical marijuana card, issued by a licensed physician for a number of pre-approved conditions.
CBD Rules in Colorado
Users looking to purchase and use CBD with a low THC content can simply purchase their CBD products from a local gas station, smoke or vape shop, or convenience store—provided that they are over the age of eighteen. These products do not generate a high, and should not show up on most modern drug tests. This means that users can enjoy the potential benefits of CBD products without facing the perceived public repercussions of marijuana usage or being “high.”
However, users should understand that the Colorado CBD and marijuana scenes are rapidly and constantly shifting. New regulations are being discussed every day, and the state is responding quickly to developments within the existing CBD industry. Readers should not treat this guide as a legal document, and it is always necessary to check additional sources and inquire with local authorities before purchasing any CBD-related product.
Where to Find Colorado CBD
Colorado CBD with a low THC content (below 0.3%) can be found in a number of stores—gas stations, convenience stores, vape and smoke shops, etc.—and can be purchased by anyone over the age of eighteen. As for CBD products with high THC content, they can potentially be found in adult-use dispensaries licensed all over the state, or they can be found in medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. For those looking to purchase their high-THC CBD from a medical dispensary, a medical marijuana card from a licensed physician will be necessary.
Colorado Industrial Hemp Program
According to the Colorado Industrial Hemp Program (CIHP) website A, the regulatory role of the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is limited to the cultivation of industrial hemp. The page further explains that the jurisdiction of the CDA does not extend to the processing, sale, or distribution of the substance.
Colorado Industrial Hemp and Industrial Hemp Seed Laws
Aside from the limited regulations of the CDA, the website also explains that there is legislation governing the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp. The Colorado Department of Agriculture is responsible for registration and inspection regulations.
The state does, however, require that the manufacturing of “hemp product” or “industrial hemp” comply with the Colorado Food and Drug Act, known as HB 18-1295.
According to a report by Westword, the new Colorado Department of Agriculture Director, Kate Greenberg, shared her goals concerning hemp. During the interview, Greenberg shared that hemp is unique given that people are getting into it due to the belief that they can make money, however, this is different from most farmers, who do not get into the business because of money. She explained that farming is not a business to get into if one thinks they’ll get rich.
The discussion also touched upon how she sees Colorado’s hemp industry compared to other states around the country. She stated, that the state had one of the first programs in the country for hemp. Further, the state has experience with certified hemp seeds, managing registration, inspections, working with growers and universities, and handling the federal government before the substance became legal. Essentially, the state has a “pretty incredible experience.”
Then, the issue of certified seeds arose. She explained that producing end products that have 0.3 percent THC or less requires certainty about the crop that one is growing. Therefore, the state has certified seeds, which provide that certainty. Nonetheless, there are still issues, such as “hot hemp.” This is hemp that features 0.3 percent THC, but the state is working to solve the issue through its CHAMP initiative, also known as Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.