NOTE: The Colorado Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program will continue to operate as is, under the 2014 Farm Bill, until the USDA approved state plan is adopted November 1, 2020.
All industrial hemp grown in Colorado must be grown under an active registration certificate which authorizes an individual to cultivate industrial hemp on a designated land area.
- Fill out the application
- Print application single sided
- Submit the application fee
- Entity must include GPS Coordinates and a map of the registered land area must be included with all applications.
- Make sure the registered name, authorized person and boundary lines in the application are accurate because they cannot be changed.
- Registrations do not renew, they must be re-applied for each year. Submit new application at least 30 days prior to expiration date.
- Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. An entity should submit the application around 30-45 days before it wants to plant to insure there is enough time.
- Note that any changes in mailing address or authorized contacts must be provided to the CDA within 10 days of the change.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
PROCESSING AND EXTRACTION OPERATIONS, AND HEMP PRODUCTS:
The Colorado Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Program's regulatory role is limited to the cultivation (growing) of industrial hemp only.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (“CDPHE”), pursuant to CRS 35-61-108, permits registered persons in the State of Colorado to carry out the processing, sale, and distribution of industrial hemp-based products. You may want to check with them to see if they have concerns over your specific product or operation, or for information on Hemp in Food Products. The CDA does not regulate processing and/or extraction and the program staff is not able to offer suggestions about how to find answers to your questions about processing and/or extraction since it is not within the scope of their program. If you hit a road block in your due diligence, or simply do not have time to keep up with the ever-evolving regulations of the cannabis space, the lawyers at Leaf Legal are here to help.
SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP:
The Colorado Department of Agriculture's Industrial Hemp Program's regulatory role is limited to the cultivation (growing) of industrial hemp only. The CDA Industrial Hemp Program does not regulate the sale or distribution of industrial hemp. Their program staff is not able to offer suggestions about how to find answers to your questions about end use products, sales and/or distribution since it is not within the scope of their program. Instead, you may want to visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Inspection and Consumer Services Division webpage for information on hemp regulation in relation to farm products and commodity handlers.(https://www.colorado.gov/aginspection). Moreover, the CDA does not provide information on who may be interested in purchasing materials from growers, nor does not provide any further information on post-cultivation operations. Leaf Legal, PC, is a full-service cannabis law firm that can assist you in finding answers to any and all questions relevant to your cannabis or industrial hemp business.
CAN I GROW HEMP WITHOUT A LICENSE? IS THERE A MINIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWED WITHOUT REGISTERING?
There is no minimum allowable amount without a license. Any amount of hemp being grown, regardless of the size of the grow operation, requires a registration. Even though the 2018 Farm Bill removed Hemp from the Controlled Substance Act, it did not de-regulate it. It empowers States to implement a permanent hemp growing program without the grey area of it being legal at the State level under the 2014 Farm Bill Pilot Program, but yet still considered a “Controlled Substance” according to Federal laws. The 2018 Farm Bill mandates States to maintain information on lands where Hemp is grown.
HOW DO I REGISTER WITH THE PROGRAM? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
To register with the program, review the CDA website. You will need to look over the Program Rules, State Laws, etc. Then you'll want to read through the application, including the cover page, and all the supplemental pages that print with it. All pages contain answers to the most commonly asked questions, and information to help avoid the most common mistakes made by registrants. If you read through all of this, most of your questions, including cost, should be answered. You will want to complete the commercial registration, as the R & D application is ONLY for institutes of higher education, such as Universities and Colleges. You will register an exact land area so you will need to know the specific details, including size and location, of where you want to cultivate.
Is there a deadline to apply?
No, registrations are issued year round. There are no deadlines or timelines for submittal. It is recommended that you submit your application at least 30-45 days prior to when you wish to plant, as there is approximately a 30 day processing window. If there are corrections or more information is required then it may delay past 30 days. Once submitted, the information given in the application will need to be verified, sent for approval, and then a registration will be generated and issued. A registration must be issued prior to planting. Submittal of an application does not assume approval or issuance of a registration.
IS THERE A WAY TO EXPEDITE AN APPLICATION?
The CDA is unable to expedite the processing of an application. The best thing you can do is to go back over each page to double check you have not missed any fields, and that your information is complete and accurate so that there are no delays.
THE MOST COMMON ERRORS: The most common reason for a delay is missing information on Page 3, inaccurate GPS Coordinates,
and/or an incomplete map. Your application will be returned for these reasons. It is highly recommended you go back over
these items to ensure completion and accuracy.
CAN I START PLANTING ONCE I HAVE SUBMITTED MY APPLICATION, BUT HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED MY REGISTRATION?
No, you have to have your registration prior to planting. Submittal of an application does not assume approval or issuance of a
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY ACRES AND/OR SQUARE FEET I CAN REGISTER?
There is no limit on size or amount of acres and/or square feet that you can register.
You can register as many acres and/or square feet as you want. However, the land area for each registration must be one contiguous (continuous/connected) area. All land area to be covered under a single registration must be contained within one single boundary line. Think of it as a single fence line around the area you want to register). If it is not continuous, then each separate piece of land requires a separate application, fees, and then its own registration issued.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY REGISTRATIONS I CAN HAVE?
There is no limit on the number of registrations one entity (the same business or person) can hold.
WHEN WILL I GET MY REGISTRATION ONCE I HAVE SUBMITTED MY APPLICATION?
It can take up to 30 days after a complete and accurate application is submitted.
If the application that is submitted is missing information or contains inaccurate information this may delay the processing time beyond 30 days. If you have a registration that is expiring, it is highly recommended that you submit your application at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of your current registration or you may have a lapse. Due to volume, and all applicants being equally anxious to receive their registration, the CDA is unable to expedite the processing. It can likely take up to 30 days to process any application. To help avoid delays, be sure to complete ALL fields on the application, and then look back over it to check for completion and accuracy prior to submission. Be sure to use the most recent version of the application (as well as the most recent version of any other forms or reports). Staff is not able to accept outdated applications. The most current version of the application is available on the Industrial Hemp webpage under “Forms and Reports.”
Do you have to be a Colorado Resident or have a Colorado address to become a Registered Industrial Hemp Grower?
You do not need to be a Colorado Resident or have a Colorado address to register your land area. A registration will be issued for a specific land area on which you intend to grow Industrial Hemp. The Registered Land Area must be within the State of Colorado. But, the Sole Proprietor or Business that holds the registration(s) does not need to be located in Colorado. However, the business does need to be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill has passed, the implementation of Farm Bill requirements is still in process. At this time, criminal background checks on individuals applying for an industrial hemp registration are not required by the CDA. Once the Farm Bill requirements are implemented, criminal background checks for individuals with certain felony backgrounds may be required. It is unknown at this time what these restrictions will look like until the USDA audits our program. There is no timeline for when to expect these changes.
ZONING: WHAT ARE THE ZONING LAWS FOR INDUSTRIAL HEMP IN MY CITY OR COUNTY?
There are no requirements or restrictions in place at the state level in regards to distance to schools, neighboring properties, residential areas, etc... While you can register any land within the State of Colorado with the CDA to cultivate Industrial Hemp, local jurisdictions may have their own ordinances on land use. You are responsible for verifying local ordinances with anyone who may have jurisdiction over your land area (including, but not limited to, your HOA/Landowner/City/Town/County, etc.) prior to applying to register the land area or planting. You are responsible for ensuring your permissions to cultivate Industrial Hemp on the land that you register with the program. Applications are not transferrable to another entity, person, or location and application fees are non-refundable should you find out later that you cannot use the land you have registered. If you find the Zoning laws in your jurisdiction to be inaccessible or confusing, the lawyers at Leaf Legal can assist you.
The CDA takes the top two inches of female plants and decarboxylates the lab sample for total %THC concentration (of THC and THCa) as defined in statute. While it is not required, it is highly recommended as good practice that you perform voluntary testing to monitor your own crops. Registrants that participate in voluntary private testing are not exempt from being selected for sampling by the CDA. The CDA can test up to 100% of industrial hemp registrations. Review the information on CDA website, on the Voluntary Testing tab, to understand the differences between voluntary testing and CDA regulatory testing.
SAMPLING AND INSPECTION: At this time, the CDA uses a risk and random selection procedure to select a percentage of registrants to be inspected and sampled. Not ALL registrants are sampled. Around June/July/August, you will receive notification if you are selected for routine fall harvest sampling and or inspection. Around Dec/January/Feb you will receive notification if you are selected for a routine indoor grow/Winter inspection. Keep in mind: We can inspect and sample at any time, even without notice. All “ACTIVE” registrations are subject to inspection and sampling. Even if you notify us that you “Did Not Plant” but your registration is active, we will at random inspect those registered land areas to verify there are no plants present. If you do not want to be subject to inspection and fees, you will need to close your registration if you do not plan to use it. You can find more information on the CDA website where you can review the information regarding sampling and inspection.
Go to the CDA website and click on the Inspection and Sampling Button. Note: Within 10 days after notice of selection for sampling registrant must contact the CDA to arrange and schedule inspection. When selected for sampling, within 30 days of the date of the date on the invoice, all registrants must reimburse the CDA for inspection costs, as well as, laboratory analysis costs for each sample taken during inspections during which a sample is taken.
RENEWING YOUR REGISTRATION: DOES MY INDUSTRIAL HEMP REGISTRATION AUTOMATICALLY RENEW?
Industrial hemp registrations expire 365 days after issuance. Registrations do not renew.
You will need to reapply for an industrial hemp registration annually by submitting a new application and applicable fees. It is highly recommended that you submit your application at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of your current registration or you may have a lapse. Due to volume, and all applicants being equally anxious to receive their registration, the CDA is unable to expedite the processing. It will likely take about 30 days to process any application. They cannot transfer previous year's information over into your new application for you. They cannot use the same map from your previous file. Even if none of your information or registered land area has changed, a new application is required annually. Please be sure to print the most recent version of the application forms from the website when applying. The forms are updated each year to keep current with changing rules and legislation. Old forms may be returned.
CERTIFIED SEED: HOW AND WHERE CAN I BUY CERTIFIED SEED? WHAT ABOUT SEED PROCUREMENT/ SEED QUALITY?
The CDA does not sell or supply seed.
To acquire CDA Approved Certified seed, contact the seed producers listed in the press release. Go to the CDA Industrial Hemp Website, and find the CDA Approved Certified Seed page to view the most recent press release. For a list of licensed hemp seed labelers for “open sourced” seed email [email protected] stating in your email that “under CORA (The Colorado Open Records Act) you request the hemp seed labeler list”. (Again, a seed labeler means they are registered to sell seed, of any kind. It does NOT mean that their seed is CDA Approved Certified Seed. Only those seed labelers, that also have all the tags mentioned above, have CDA Approved Certified Seed.)
Note: Seed that exists in Colorado may be variable and have unknown THC levels. Random sampling of hemp fields will be conducted. CDA Approved Certified seed means that the seed has gone through the four part seed certification program. Only seed packages with CDA Approved Certified seed tags and the AOSCA or OECD Seed Scheme tags are recognized as CDA Approved Certified seed. You can view the press release on its website that will give you more information on how to acquire CDA Approved Certified seed. Check with the Seed Dealers (the person selling the seed) for seed availability, varietal use and performance.
It is up to the registrant to ensure they have the legal right to use a particular irrigation source for their agricultural crop(s).
The 2018 Farm Bill reads: Section 10114 (p.435) Nothing in the act prohibits the interstate commerce of hemp, nor can State or Tribes prohibit the transportation of hemp or hemp products through their territory. So, while the 2018 Farm Bill lifted restrictions on shipping, making it so that States, Tribes, or The DEA have no lawful right to interfere with the transport, the CDA staff cannot give guidance regarding shipping industrial hemp. The CDA recommends that you consult with your attorney to make certain that you have all applicable documentations and licenses for transporting all hemp products as the CDA cannot foresee what law enforcement in each different jurisdiction may accept. If you do not have an attorney and have questions related to shipping your cannabis products, contact Stephanie Schuman or Joseph Bondy of Leaf Legal, PC, at (212) 933-9420, for a free consultation.
CLONES: DO I NEED TO DOCUMENT IMMATURE CUTTINGS/CLONES ON PLANTING AND HARVEST REPORTS? Yes. By rule, when the cutting is started, you are required by rule to file a planting report within 10 days. Harvest reports are due at least 30 days prior to harvest. According to Rule 1.6, “Harvest” means the termination of the cultivation process, including taking cuttings, or the movement of Industrial Hemp from a Registered Land Area to another location or movement within a Registered Land Area between indoor and outdoor planting areas. Per this definition--clipped, cut, transplanted to the field, sold and removed from the Registered Land Area, etc are all examples of “Harvest”.
Large cloning operations typically schedule the entire season, cloning within 5 days plus or minus the documented harvest dates and filing planting reports that reflect within 10 days of the dates: If you file harvest reports monthly (or schedule the entire cloning season) for the 5th, 15th, and 25th and planting reports for the 5th, 15th and 25th you will always have +/- 5 days of harvest date as required by rule for harvests and always be within 10 days for planting reports as required by rule, nothing states that you cannot project out anticipated planting dates prior to planting. The CDA is asking for areas- not plant counts, best guesstimates. (The 31st is a rest day.)
File one report for the entire season, using extra form pages for extensive cloning seasons, dates and varieties. Be sure that all material reported on a planting report has a correlating harvest report to indicate when the plant material is harvested. The idea is that planting and harvest reports are your way to keep the CDA apprised of what plant material is presently growing (planting report), and then where that plant material went (harvest report). A planting report gives notice of the presence of plant material that is in the growth cycle, and a harvest report gives notice of the removal of plant material.
SEED VS. GRAIN:
What is the difference between seed and grain? Seed represents a product that will germinate, grow or reproduce. Grain is seed that will be used for processing or consumption.
PESTICIDES: WHAT PESTICIDES CAN I USE ON MY INDUSTRIAL HEMP GROW?
Pesticides and Pesticide use are regulated by the CDA Pesticide Program. Information regarding pesticides can be found on their web page. This information is not found on the Industrial Hemp Program webpage as it not within the scope of that program. There are a limited number of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) currently registered for use on Cannabis spp., Industrial Hemp and marijuana, due to the predominant federal nature of pesticide regulation. The CDA has a list of pesticides that could be used on Cannabis and not constitute a violation of pesticide labeling or other federal and state pesticide laws and regulations. SEE https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agplants/pesticides
FEDERAL FARM PROGRAMS:
Federal farm programs such as crop insurance, farm loans programs are managed by the USDA, which is a Federal Agency. The CDA is a State Agency. Contact the lawyer's at Leaf Legal for legal advice or the agency responsible for further information.
MISSING OR INCORRECT INFORMATION ON THE APPLICATION:
If there is any missing or incorrect information, or if they need anything further, the CDA will send an email. All Communications will
be sent to the main contact's email address listed on Page 1 of the application. Calls to check the status of application may not be returned due to limited resources, and the volume of calls received for status checks. If more than 30 days has passed since your submittal, have your attorney send an email to [email protected] to inquire.
• THE MOST COMMON ERRORS: The most common reason for a delay is missing information on Page 3, inaccurate GPS
coordinates, and/or an incomplete map. Your application will be returned for these reasons. It is highly recommended you go back over these items to ensure completion and accuracy.
• IS THERE A WAY TO EXPEDITE AN APPLICATION? No. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they were received. The best thing you can do is to go back over each page to double check you have not missed any fields, and that your information is complete and accurate so that there are no delays.
• CAN I GO AHEAD AND PLANT ONCE I HAVE SUBMITTED MY APPLICATION?
No, submitting an application does not assume approval or that a registration will be granted. You will need to wait until your application information has been fully verified and processed and a registration has been issued.
• HOW WILL MY REGISTRATION BE SENT?
The CDA will email you a copy as soon as it is issued so that you have it on hand immediately. It will be sent to the main contact's email address listed on Page 1 of the application.