CHAMP Initiative

CHAMP logo

Colorado became a national leader in hemp cultivation and production when it launched one of the first successful pilot hemp programs in the United States five years ago. The recent passage of the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, commonly called the Farm Bill, requires each state department of agriculture to submit a state management plan to the USDA, outlining how various aspects of hemp cultivation and processing will be managed within their jurisdiction.

Governor Polis has made it a priority for Colorado to remain an innovating force in the promotion of this high-value agricultural commodity. In response, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is partnering with leading state, local, and tribal agencies, as well as industry experts in cultivation, testing, research, processing, finance and economics to establish a statewide initiative known as the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan (CHAMP).

The 2018 Farm Bill provides Colorado a unique opportunity to establish a comprehensive blueprint for how the state will not only manage but also advance this emerging industry by examining the entire supply chain from cultivation to market, and the steps in between. The CHAMP initiative is a broad stakeholder effort. In keeping with CDA’s core mission to continuously strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, a key objective of the CHAMP initiative will be to define a well structured and defined supply chain for hemp in order to establish a strong market for the state’s farming communities.

The collaborative effort includes CDA, the Governor's Office, Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Revenue, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Department of Public Safety, Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, Department of Higher Education, local governments and industry experts.

In addition, assembling a group of committed industry stakeholders to help develop the CHAMP initiative will be critical to its success. We are seeking regulatory and industry subject matter experts to serve as stakeholder champions and help formulate Colorado's blueprint for hemp.

  • The CHAMP initiative is a year-long project that will conclude with the publishing of the CHAMP Report in spring 2020.
  • The timing of the project, as well as the deliverables, will be split into two phases:
    • Phase 1 will explore the first four steps of the supply chain and concludes with the submission of Colorado's official state management plan to the USDA. The tentative target date for submission of Colorado's management plan is fall 2019.
    • Phase 2 will address the steps in the second half of the supply chain and conclude with the publication of the comprehensive CHAMP report addressing all eight steps in the supply chain. Phase 2 will conclude and the CHAMP report will be published in spring 2020.
  • The initiative includes the development of a governing blueprint for the full supply chain in order to identify:
    • Legislative and regulatory development
    • Department resources
    • Industry guidelines and areas for support
    • Research and advancement needs and opportunities
    • Center of excellence development

  • There will be eight specific stakeholder groups, each dedicated to a specific step along the hemp supply chain.
  • Each stakeholder discussion group will have three in-person meetings over the course of a 10-week period. Meetings will be spaced roughly every three weeks.
  • Stakeholder groups will consist of 15-25 selected subject matter experts. Groups will be balanced between governing agencies and industry.
  • The start and end times of the meetings are still to be determined, but will generally be most of a full day (9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.)
  • The locations of the meetings are yet to be determined. While most of the meetings will take place in the Denver metro area, selected stakeholder meetings will be held at venues across the state.
  • The stakeholder discussion phase will take place over a five-month period, from late July to early December 2019.
  • The eight stakeholder group discussions will work through the supply chain in two separate phases.

Group 1) Research & Development and Seed
Group 2) Cultivation
Group 3) Transportation
Group 4) Testing

Group 5) Processing
Group 6) Manufacturing (Food Commodities)
Group 7) Marketing
Group 8) Banking and Insurance

Schedules and Agenda (2019)

CHAMP Board Meeting

(CDA Main Office: 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021)

Monday, September 24th, 2019 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Tuesday, October 16th, 2019 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 1:00 - 2:00 pm

CHAMP Executive Meeting

(CDA Main Office: 305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021)

Monday, September 23rd 9:00, 2019 - 11:00 am

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 1:00 - 3:00 pm

CHAMP Initiative News

CHAMP Public Engagement Meetings

Here 4 Hemp: CHAMP Overview of Interim Legislation
February 4, 2020 5:00-7:30 Grand Junction, Colorado
Information and registration can be found here.