If you’re looking for the TL;DR—we’re encouraging everyone to vote YES on Amendment X here in Colorado during this year’s election.
If you want to know more, here’s the gist of it.
First, the macro view: Amendment X is necessary piece of legal housekeeping that has little effect on the day to day operations of the hemp industry. However, in the future, the change (that we want to help make now) could be very important.
Next, let’s cover some details.
Colorado has the only constitution in the US with a definition of hemp its founding document. That definition—which is part of our Amendment 64—has been there since 2012. The definition was put there to ensure (and create) a clear and salient distinction between hemp and marijuana, but it isn’t necessary.
Taking that definition out of the State Constitution 1). Puts Colorado in uniformity with other state-level conventions and 2). Will help put Colorado in compliance with Federal law.
The question everyone wants to ask next is this: Won’t that hurt Colorado’s hemp production and legal basis for being the country’s leading hemp producer? No. The answer is no.
The legal basis for our operation, and every other legal hemp operation, does not come from this definition in the State Constitution, instead it comes first from the (Federal) 2014 Farm Bill, and then secondarily through state-level statute.
The difference is that the Federal definition of hemp could change (and become less strict about THC levels) and therefore Colorado farmers and hemp companies could be put at a competitive disadvantage against other states, who wouldn’t be subject the low THC levels that Coloradans would.
In other words, if the THC levels required by our State Constitution are lower than what everyone else must abide to, we’ll be worse off.
Secondarily, having a definition of hemp in our constitution is, frankly, the wrong place in the law to put it. Changes to the constitution require a vote by the people—which is only possible every two years. Locating the definition in statute—as Amendment X plans to do—will allow our state legislature to react in real time to any changes that take place federally. In fact, because Amendment X will reference federal law directly, Colorado’s compliance becomes, effectively, instantaneous.
Lastly, and in addition to the reasons listed above, there’s a certain bandwagon sentiment that also motivates our choice to support Amendment X. First, and possibly foremost, our own farmer supports it. We have a terrific relationship with our hemp supplier, and if this change will help him, we want to do everything we can to pile on and help him too! Second, Our attorney friends and our friends inside of the state government all believe that this is necessary and important change from a legal point of view. We believe that good laws help create a good society—we’re certainly all for that! Lastly, we know that most of our industry peers also support the measure.
Given all of this, we are, therefore, strongly in favor of the passage of Amendment X, and we encourage you to VOTE YES if you’d like to help Colorado’s hemp industry.