Ordering viable hemp seed is like walking into a maze with no map. Our state rule requirement for seed procurement is essentially one word. “Certified.” The actual legal process to order the seed is much more complicated than that.
First, the word certified has two meanings. 1) Certified below 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis and 2) Certified varieties of seed from Pedigree Seed breeders. Buying seed from breeders who meet AOSCA standards ensures that your crops will be uniform for harvesting and guaranteed to meet your state’s THC requirement. Second, although a license to grow hemp under 7606 of the Farm Bill may be obtained from your state department of agriculture, you have to obtain a permit from the DEA to actually procure seeds legally. “Section 7606 of the Farm Bill specifically authorized certain entities to “grow or cultivate” industrial hemp but did not eliminate the requirement under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act that the importation of viable cannabis seeds must be carried out by persons registered with the DEA.” (NIFA Statement of Principles from USDA, DEA.)
Despite the red tape for cultivating and developing industrial hemp, the West Virginia Farmers Cooperative Inc. has successfully imported certified seeds in 2106 and currently has orders place for 2017. This is a new area of business the market will hopefully improve in the years to come. We are pushing for the development of interstate seed transfers between 7606 programs of legally permitted states. Follow us to stay updated as the seed industry for hemp unfolds.