hemp

Standard hemp was made legal again by the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018. The plant is seen as a potentially strong agricultural product for Colorado. 

A hand-sewn flag for the U.S. hemp industry will fly alongside the American flag over the Colorado Capitol on Tuesday to commemorate an emerging agricultural industry that Gov. Jared Polis has long supported.

Both flags were sewn by Margaret Eversole of Collbran in Mesa County.

"We're proud to be supporting the capacity of Colorado farmers through regulatory reform, workforce development, market expansion [and] international commercial outreach to find the opportunities for the hemp industry," Polis said in a video for Colorado Hemp Week last year.

Polis made headlines in 2013, when as a congressman, he arranged to have a U.S. flag made out of hemp flown over the U.S. Capitol on the Fourth of July.

“We work really hard as an association to ensure this industry stays successful and full of promise for our farmers,” says Bethleen McCall, the president of the Colorado Hemp Association. “It’s great that we can recognize our farmers and all the benefits this crop has provided to Colorado. Flying the hemp flag over the Capitol has become a tradition that says, ‘We’re here as an industry and we’re sticking around!’ ”

The trade association, founded in 2015, said Colorado leads the nation in hemp production, creating thousands of agricultural and manufacturing jobs down the line.

The governor's proclamation on Hemp Week noted Colorado "has long recognized the strong economic potential that hemp production offers our agricultural sector as a food, fiber, and cannabinoid producer and the increasing consumer demand for hemp products in Colorado."

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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