Industrial Hemp’s Future As a Crop in Colorado Awaits Federal Action

If industrial hemp can grow on the plains of Manitoba, it can grow in semi-arid Northwest Colorado, Anndrea Hermann said Tuesday.

Hermann is recognized as one of the foremost experts in North America on the cultivation of industrial hemp for its valued fiber and oil, and she will be teaching a groundbreaking e-course on the subject at Oregon State University this fall.

“Can it grow there?” Hermann asked rhetorically during a phone interview with the Steamboat Today on Tuesday. “Absolutely. Do we know the cultivars — the varieties and parental lines that will do the best? No, we don’t. We’d have to test them. But in Manitoba, hemp grows with 8 to 13 inches of (annual moisture) without any worries. We have dryland production in Manitoba and we get our share of winter.”

Industrial hemp is distinctly different from the type of cannabis sativa that produces the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that pot smokers covet. Industrial hemp does not yield significant amounts of THC. In other words, when grown properly to take advantage of the plant’s practical uses, industrial help won’t make people high.

Steamboat Springs receives on average of 24.5 inches of precipitation, and Hayden, with a milder climate, receives 18.6 inches annually. A research paper done at Oregon State in 2008 suggested that hemp thrives in climates with at least 25 to 30 inches of water, fertile loam soils and extended growing seasons.

– Read the entire article at Steamboat Today.