Farmers in Colorado have taken tremendous steps to lay the groundwork for a strong hemp industry in the state, but the fundamental problem of how to legally obtain hemp seed has continued to hinder their progress—until now. Soon, farmers will no longer have to exploit regulatory gray areas and loopholes (or engage in outright smuggling) to get their hemp seeds across state lines. As early as 2017, they’ll be able to buy them.
That’s because in March, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) announced a new certified industrial hemp seed program, the first of its kind in the nation. Despite the continuing federal ban on cannabis—the federal Controlled Substances Act considers all cannabis plants to be drugs—this state program is openly and explicitly intended to bring industrial hemp into mainstream agriculture, treating hemp in the same manner as all other agriculture products for which it issues CDA Approved Certified Seed.
“We are on the cutting edge of this emerging industry and this new program can help shape the future of the hemp industry,” said Duane Sinning, assistant director of the CDA’s Division of Plant Industry.
Working with Colorado State University and the Colorado Seed Growers Association, the CDA will oversee test plantings of a number of hemp seed varieties across different Colorado landscapes and growing conditions. If seeds at these test sites produce mature hemp plants that don’t exceed the 0.3 percent THC limit to qualify as industrial hemp, those seeds will then be eligible to be produced under the CDA Approved Certified Seed program.
Mike Bowman, chairman of the National Hemp Association and Colorado native, said the NHA welcomes this massive step forward in treating hemp like an agricultural product in the state. “We’re pioneers, but we have a lot of catching up to do,” he said, “We want to set the pace for the nation.”
Read this full story…..: Canna-News: Certified Hemp Seed