Hickenlooper signs hemp bill into law in Cortez
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper stopped in Cortez Sunday to sign a bill protecting hemp farmers who use water stored in federal reservoirs.
The bill was introduced in the state Legislature by Sen. Don Coram, and sponsored by Rep. Marc Catlin. Both are Montrose Republicans.
“We have a tradition of a bill-signing tour to show what your local legislators are up to,” Hickenlooper told a crowd of about 40.
Colorado legalized growing hemp in 2014, but it is still banned at the federal level, creating complications when water from a federal project is used to water it.
Senate Bill 117, titled “Recognize Industrial Hemp Agricultural Product for Agricultural Water Right,” says Colorado water-right holders have the right to use it on hemp if the person is registered by the state to grow hemp for commercial, or research purposes.