State lawmakers consider tightening restrictions on hemp products

A panel of state lawmakers is considering a bill that could significantly restrict the use and sale of certain products derived from hemp — including making it illegal to smoke the substance.

Wyoming law currently says that, as long as certain licensing requirements are followed in the growing and processing of the crop, “the possession, purchase, sale, transportation and use of hemp and hemp products by any person is allowable without restriction.”

As Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt sees it, that means hemp “can be used by anybody in any way.”


Federal government OKs Wyoming's industrial hemp plan

After much anxiety from producers worried they could miss another growing season, the United States Department of Agriculture has approved Wyoming’s industrial hemp growing regulations.

“This is a brand new crop with inherent risks and a challenging regulatory structure so we encourage producers and processors to look closely at the rules and regulations if they choose to attempt growing or processing hemp in 2020,” Doug Miyamoto, director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, said in a news release. “With that said, we are excited to get this program off the ground and to start a hemp industry in Wyoming.”


Wyoming Tribe Wants To Improve Reservation’s Economy With Hemp and Medical Marijuana

A Wyoming Native American tribe is considering hemp and medical marijuana as potential avenues of economic development and has authorized a committee to study the opportunities for the reservation. The group will also investigate the medical applications of cannabis and its potential to treat members of the Eastern Shoshone tribe’s Wind River Reservation.


Wyoming should move quickly to let farmers begin hemp production

Last year, Wyoming lawmakers wisely legalized industrial hemp growing. Since then, state leaders have encouraged the creation of a hemp industry here, and in April, a Casper summit attracted hundreds of potential growers.

There was just one problem. The federal government needed to craft rules for hemp production. That process wasn’t complete in time for farmers to plant hemp for the 2019 growing season.

Thankfully, that bureaucratic obstacle was eliminated last week when the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved interim rules for hemp growers. Now, the ball is back in the state’s court. Once the state has finished developing its own regulatory apparatus, farmers can begin planting hemp. And that can’t happen soon enough.


Interest in hemp grows in Wyoming

State lawmakers voted earlier this year to legalize industrial hemp in Wyoming. But many details must be sorted out before hemp becomes the newest cash crop in the state’s $2 billion agricultural sector.


Legal pot changes the work of some drug detection dogs

Marijuana is now legal in much of our region. The new industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it's also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers - drug detection dogs. 

Pueblo Police Department's K9 Detective Widget is always ready for work and play. The pot-sniffing 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, has helped make millions of dollars in drug busts during her four years on the force, but now she has a new partner.

Sage is a 2-year-old golden lab. The two dogs' human handler, Detective Vince Petkosek says like Widget, Sage is trained to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms, but she is not trained on marijuana.


Police Remind Visitors Medical Marijuana Is Illegal in Wyoming

If you have visitors coming for the eclipse who might use medical marijuana, you might want to remind them it’s not legal in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police raised the issue in an eclipse-related press release last week.

“Even if you have a card from another state, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Wyoming,” Natrona County Sheriff Gus Holbrook said in the release. “If you are caught with any controlled substance you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense.”

There’s precedent for people bringing medical marijuana into a state while on vacation, only to get in trouble after they arrive.


Wyoming: Senate committee narrows scope of marijuana bill

A Senate committee on Wednesday tightened a bill that deals with penalties for possession of marijuana-infused products.

House Bill 197 originally created a tiered penalty system for possession of small amounts of marijuana or marijuana-infused products.

The penalty system applied to possession of marijuana in plant form of less than 3 ounces and marijuana-infused products less than 8 ounces.

However, the Senate Judiciary Committee last week amended the bill to only apply to marijuana-infused products. It further amended the bill Wednesday to set the misdemeanor cutoff for possession of marijuana-derived products like extracts to 3 grams of such a substance. This is consistent with existing law for liquid forms of drugs.


Wyoming Medical Marijuana Initiative Doesn't Make 2018 Ballot

A medical marijuana initiative that had been in the works since 2015 won’t be on the ballot in 2018 after the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office did not receive petitions by last Tuesday’s deadline.

Nonetheless, medical marijuana supporters said they will continue to push for legalization of medical marijuana in Wyoming.

The deadline for the petition was 18 months after the petition began in 2015.

While the Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) helped with the signature drive, the organization was not the official sponsor of the petition.


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