Pass the hemp: Colorado prepares to regulate the plant like any other food ingredient
April 26, 2018
With the stroke of a pen, hemp could be treated like any other food ingredient under Colorado law.
A bill is on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk to apply existing food manufacturing guidelines to products such as hemp oil-infused coffee and CBD-rich extracts made from the non-psychoactive cannabis plant variety.
At its simplest form, House Bill 1295 — which unanimously passed the Colorado Senate on Wednesday — merely codifies a state policy and program in place since July. In a broader context, Colorado's buttoning up of regulations is a novel move to protect the state's emerging industrial hemp industry as the plant's legality is debated federally.
The regulatory red tape wasn't seen Wednesday as a burden by a few Colorado businesses that make products from industrial hemp.
"Nationally, we simply don't have any regulatory structure in place," said Andrew Aamot, co-founder of Strava Craft Coffee, a Denver-based coffee company that launched a line of hemp oil-infused beans and brews. "As we progress toward greater acceptance on the national level, I think Colorado companies are uniquely positioned to do things right at the very beginning."