As of July 1st, 2012, Colorado is now moving forward with the Industrial Hemp Remediation Pilot Program, HB12-1099.

HB12-1099 Signed by Gov. Hickenlooper

Phytoremediation (from the Ancient Greek (phytoplant), and Latin remedium (restoring balance or remediation) describes the treatment of environmental problems (bio-remediation) through the use of plants that mitigate the environmental problem without the need to excavate the contaminant material and dispose of it elsewhere.

Phytoremediation consists of mitigating pollutant concentrations in contaminated soils, water, or air, with plants able to contain, degrade, or eliminate metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil and its derivatives, and various other contaminants from the media that contain them.


The data collected from the non-drug hemp remediation pilot program will help determine the economic impact of the changes in the ecosystem and their benefit. With the policy change of researching non-drug hemp and its impact on the ecosystem, the changes in ecosystem services and thus the impacts on human welfare will determine the programs effectiveness. The Mechanism of transport is in the root zone, starting in the rhizosphere area in the soil.

Economic Potentials of the pilot program include:

• increase the usable land area for agriculture; restore proper pH balance in the soil and water

• improved hunting, bird watching and fishing habitats
• Flood attenuation (uS$ 772/ per acre)
• industrial and domestic wastewater treatment (uS$ 265/ per acre per year).
• Co2 Sequestering: (a damage cost of uS $10 per ton of carbon per year)
• H2o remediation of pharmaceutical contamination

Why Phytoremediation?

• Phytoremediation costs 5% to 10% vs. landfill costs
• 90% reduction in waste volume
• 90% to 95% reduction in metals from water
• less Surface disturbance
• Wildfire mitigation and stabilization of soils

Why Hemp?

• low Water use (12”-15” and up per year, depending on the use of the crop)
• low to Zero Pesticide and Hebicide requirements
• Hemp Kills Noxious Weeds
• High Metals uptake
• High Survival Tolerance
• erosion Mitigation
• More Studies Needed

The Pilot Program would specifically:

• Create a set of data that would determine the effective remediation capacities of hemp
• demonstrate that hemp can aid in improving soil conditions for the production of food crops
• demonstrate the economic potentials for using hemp in remediation projects
• demonstrate that hemp can remediate contaminants from water, soil and air