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Colorado announces approved hemp seed sourcesColorado announces approved hemp seed sources

Four industrial hemp seed varieties have cleared the statewide validation process.

December 15, 2017

2 Min Read
LOOKING TO HEMP: Colorado growers considering raising hemp now have some choice after an extensive trial conducted around the state.studio023/iStock/Thinkstock

The rising interest in raising hemp for industrial use continues after promotion of the idea in the 2014 Farm Bill. The Colorado Department of Agriculture has engaged in extensive testing of hemp seed varieties in a range of areas in the state to choose approved varieties for use in the future.

After the tests, CDA has approved four industrial hemp seed varieties to be eligible to be grown by the Colorado Seed Growers Association to be produced as “CDA Approved Certified Seed.”

During 2017, CDA put four varieties of hemp through trials across the state’s diverse growing conditions to validate if they would prove to grow into mature plants that fall within industrial hemp requirements set by Amendment 64 of the Colorado constitution.

Colorado state law requires industrial hemp tests at or below 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the chemical responsible for marijuana’s “high.” Hemp is in the same family as that other cannabis plant, but if it meets this lower THC standard it can be grown for industrial use. All varieties tested by CDA were accepted by the Colorado Seed Growers Association’s Variety Review Board, and they all passed the THC validation trials.

This table shows the list of the varieties approved and their suppliers to the Colorado market. (Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture)

During the 2017 program, five varieties were reviewed and conditionally accepted by the Variety Review Board; of those five, four varieties were entered by the participants in the trial and approved to be grown for certified seed.

Varieties tested in 5 regions of state
The trials were carried out in the northeast, Arkansas Valley, Front Range, the San Luis Valley and on the Western Slope regions of the state. These five locations have distinct differences in daytime and nighttime temperatures, altitude, length of growing season, and soil types. This provided CDA with a broad representation of Colorado’s growing conditions for hemp.

Once approved through these trials, CDA approves the variety to be produced by the Colorado Seed Growers Association according to Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies standards, and to receive the CDA Approved Certified Seed label.

CDA recommends that farmers interested in growing hemp contact the listed seed companies. The agency also notes that per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, it is still federally illegal for hemp seed to cross state lines. For growers to document the planting of CDA Approved Seed, they must provide purchase order receipts and/or bag tags for CDA verification. The CDA Approved Certified Seed program requires that all individual seed packages be tagged by both CDA tags and AOSCA or OECD official tags. Work with your seed supplier to comply.

Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture

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