By: Nabil Rodriguez, J.D.*
In his first State of the State address on January 10, 2019, newly elected Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced his plan to “make good on the promise of industrial hemp here in Colorado.” Governor Polis noted “With our world-class universities, like Colorado State and Adams State, which are at the forefront of hemp innovation, and with the leading hemp manufacturers and cultivators already here, we want to seize on this opportunity, under the most recent national Farm Bill, to help make Colorado the national leader in industrial hemp production.”
It is no secret that Governor Polis has historically been an outspoken supporter of the hemp and cannabis industry. In fact, he was the only Colorado Governor candidate to receive the endorsement from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (“NORML”). As stated by Erik Altieri, the executive director of NORML, “from day one when [Polis] joined Congress, he’s been an outspoken champion for ending federal marijuana prohibition. He’s sponsored or co-sponsored nearly every piece of marijuana-reform legislation that’s been introduced, and he was one of the lead founders of the Cannabis Caucus.” To top it off, even the programs for his inauguration ceremony were printed on hemp paper.
With a strong cannabis industry supporter at the head of Colorado’s government, the possibility of passing pending “sunset bills” with more industry favorable language is more likely than in past administrations.
*Nabil Rodriguez is not an attorney