US (CO): New law attempts to reduce cross-pollination between hemp and cannabis

How far can a speck of pollen travel? That depends on a myriad of factors, but if that bit of pollen comes from a plant in an open field in Colorado, it can travel pretty far. Average wind gusts around the state are usually around 20 to 30 miles per hour, but they can get as high as 100 miles per hour. In a hot, dry climate with not a lot of moisture in the air to slow that pollen down, it can go the distance.

If that pollen happens to come from a hemp plant, it can cause problems.

Many cannabis and hemp farmers in Colorado farm outdoors, which can lead to cases of cross-pollination, since hemp and cannabis are the same plant species. Hemp is just cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC (the compound that gets you high).

The new House Bill 21-1301 bill in Colorado, signed into law by Governor Jared Polis, aims to address cross-pollination, along with other measures to make growing cannabis easier for producers. The bill will do a few things, including allowing cannabis producers to submit their own crop-loss contingency plans to the state for approval. It will also create a working group to study ways to reduce cross-pollination.


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