Rep. Catlin’s bill protecting water rights gets signed into law
DENVER—Yesterday in Cortez Colorado, the governor signed Senate Bill 117, sponsored by Representative Marc Catlin (R-Montrose). The new law, which took effect upon the governor’s signature, confirms a person with a recognized water right designated for agricultural use can use that water to grow industrial hemp in Colorado.
Senate Bill 117 is in response to facilities around the state banning farmers from choosing to grow industrial hemp. While industrial hemp is part of the cannabis genus, it is not considered a drug and contains very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Non-drug industrial hemp is currently used to make paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction equipment, health food, and fuel.
Catlin issued the following statement regarding the new law:
“Protecting the West Slope economy and Colorado’s agricultural industry is a top priority for me, and it’s very rewarding to pass legislation that helps farmers retain control of their water rights and grow viable crops in this climate. More importantly, this new law ensures decisions about crops and water allocation remain under state rather than federal purview, and I am thankful for the support of the governor, Senator Coram and Representative Valdez on this bill.”