A coalition of hemp industry advocates and stakeholders is proposing policy reform that would exempt US farmers who plant certified seed from burdensome regulation, Einpresswire reported.

If adopted, the “Value the Seed” Initiative would enable US hemp farmers who use and plant certified seeds that meet or exceed the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) standards to be exempt from regulation, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing, the 24 May report said.

Dr Larry Smart, a professor in Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science, who leads the university’s hemp research and extension team, said the domestic production of certified seed was a well-established system to ensure quality, uniformity, and true pedigreed cultivar seed.

“Strengthening and expanding the production of low THC-compliant certified hemp seed is a critical step to advance the hemp industry by mitigating the risk to growers and assuaging the concerns of regulators,” he said.

The Value the Seed initiative proposes that the hemp supply chain should function as responsibly, if not more responsibly, than any other plant-based industry by using validated genetics, the report said.

Shifting the burden of verifying THC compliance to certified seed producer would eliminate the need for farmers to undergo background checks and crop inspections, Einpresswire wrote.

John Read, CEO of Whitefield Hemp Partners, a hemp grain and fibre processor, said getting an exemption from “onerous” hemp regulations would clean up the industry and attract new growers.

Launched against a background of discussions between hemp industry stakeholders with regulatory agencies over improvements to hemp production policy in the upcoming Farm Bill, the initiative is feasible, according to backers.

Extensive research at Cornell University and Colorado State University had proven that in well-bred hemp varieties – those that were genetically pure and stable – cannabinoids were under genetic control rather than environmental influence as had been previously believed, the report said.

“A strong foundation based on certified seed will give larger food, feed, and materials manufacturers assurance and incentive to adopt this crop as animal feed, a plant-based food ingredient, and a source of renewable materials,” Wendy Mosher, CEO of hemp seed company New West Genetics, said.