Many like to claim that their hemp or cannabis is the most naturally grown, organic and pesticide-free product out there. Up until recently, there was no real way to test these claims, except for actually witnessing the grow. Recently, however, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finally granted official organic status to a crop in Colorado.
According to KUNC, a cannabis farm in Longmont named CBDRx is now home to one of the first USDA-certified cannabis products available in America.
The USDA had previously stated that they would not deem anything classified as “marijuana” organic, which includes hemp. Recently, the USDA has changed its tune to allow any hemp grown according to the Farm Bill in a legal state to be classified as organic. While the process is still meeting with some resistance due to the stigma against cannabis and the fine print in American drug law, it represents a giant step forward for the industry.
“I think that since the USDA has already recognized imports of organic hemp, it doesn’t make any sense why they fail to recognize domestically produced hemp under the same standards,” Rick Trojan, local hemp advocate and representative of Colorado Cultivars, told CULTURE in an interview. “The USDA recognition of hemp puts our hemp on par with hemp production overseas. Failing to do that domestically puts our hemp at a disadvantage to the imports, and deters consumers from purchasing domestic hemp.”
“I think that getting that USDA certification is monumental for the industry,” Trojan reflected. “I think that now that they’ve opened the door, companies such as mine and other hemp growers, in Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee and other states, can move towards certification as well. Having USDA certified a hemp far provides legitimacy to the industry and will allow farmers across the country to get on board with producing hemp. The pushback is always about the federal government, and now they are recognizing it as organic, they are legitimatizing the crop.”
“Colorado has set another pioneering first by being home to the only Hemp operation to meet and receive the USDA’s National Organic Certification,” added Mark Slaugh, board member of the Cannabis Business Alliance. “The fact that the federal government has given this seal of approval for industrial hemp crops meeting these standards is a leap forward and a testament to our state’s regulatory regime. We hope that in modeling these standards for our state’s medical and retail marijuana crops, that the federal government will continue to shift the way they look at legal marijuana and that the USDA will one day certify all cannabis crops in Colorado.”