Colorado joins hemp states giving up on USDA approval for 2020 season

Colorado is the latest hemp state to withdraw its request to win federal approval for regulating the crop in 2020.

The state’s governor, attorney general and agriculture commissioner said Colorado will not seek U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for 2020, joining several other markets that are exercising the option to use their old hemp rules until they expire this fall.

The officials also sent the USDA a 32-page letter blasting the national rules set by the agency.

“Rather than serving the public interest, the (USDA rule) subverts it by precluding experienced stakeholders from shaping the regulatory scheme upon which their livelihoods depend,” the Colorado officials wrote.

The USDA released the rules last fall, and hemp entrepreneurs have been howling since that they’re too strict.

Colorado joined other industry members in complaining about the prescribed testing and sampling regime outlined by the USDA.

The state officials also added a laundry list of new complaints about everything from a lack of seed-breeding guidance to the fact that the USDA didn’t set up a system to document hemp for interstate transportation.

Colorado said many of the rules are “unnecessary, burdensome and may potentially have a devastating impact” on the industry.

The state officials went on to accuse the USDA of violating federal law by not having a justification to craft a final rule without giving “notice and comment” time to the public.