Alexandria, VA (January 16, 2019) - In passing the recent reauthorization of the Farm Bill, Congress decriminalized hemp production, which has led to a flurry of activity in the states.

However, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) says growers must be cautioned that this new authority doesn’t mean anyone can simply begin hemp production; the regulation change allows the development of programs for growing industrial hemp commercially on a state-by-state basis.

State legislatures are being flooded with bill filings to start the process. Some states currently have production rules in place because of pilot programs created from the last Farm Bill.

ASTA’s position, approved by the board in June 2018, addressed three areas of concern:

  • Seed supply sourcing should only include free market accessibility from commercial production;
  • The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) standards for production of industrial hemp seed should be used for all production to ensure quality and differentiation between hemp and marijuana because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the two crop seeds;
  • Interstate transportation rules should be clarified to eliminate the disparate and confusing standards on commerce for hemp seed and plant shipments.

ASTA will keep members informed as more information becomes available.