Colorado hemp industry moves ahead after seed certification

Colorado’s hemp industry took a major step forward this week when the state’s Department of Agriculture announced that three industrial hempseed varieties passed a statewide trial that confirmed the resulting plants contain THC levels under 0.3%.

Being under the 0.3% threshold is important because plants with higher THC levels cannot be certified as hemp under state laws, and are instead considered marijuana and can’t be used. The validation means that these seed varieties are now eligible to be cultivated as “CDA Approved Certified Seed” by members of the Colorado Seed Growers Association, according to a Colorado Department of Agriculture press release.

The three seed types that passed the THC trials are known as Eletta Campana, Fibranova and Helena. They were bred and submitted to the Colorado Seed Growers Association’s Variety Review Board by Schiavi Seeds in Lexington, Kentucky. Two of the seeds were originally from Italy and a third from Serbia, said Duane Sinning, the assistant director of the agriculture department’s Division of Plant Industry.

A fourth seed variety submitted by New West Genetics in Fort Collins, Colorado, also passed the THC tests and is awaiting to formalize the approval of its seed’s eligibility to be grown as “certified seed.”

The four seed types that passed the THC tests are among a group of six seed types that were submitted to the CDA for certification. The other two seed varieties have yet to be formally certified.