Hemp: Finding Legal Seeds and Insurance

Ernie NeffAlternative Crops


The Florida Hemp Association recently clarified which seeds can be legally grown under Florida law and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) rules. Growers must use either a seed approved by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) or a Pilot Project Hemp Seed approved though a university pilot project, the association reported.

AOSCA is an organization of agencies that provides internationally recognized seed certification. It is dedicated to assisting plant breeders and seed producers in the production, identification, distribution and promotion of certified classes of seed and other crop propagation materials. AOSCA takes years to certify seeds through multiple generations of cultivation and testing.

Pilot Project Hemp Seed are seeds that have been tested under a rigorous 12-week research program to determine purity, germination and noxious weed seed content. Several universities in Florida participate in the Industrial Hemp Research Program, including the University of Florida, through its Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and Florida A&M University. Learn about research UF/IFAS is conducting on the alternative crop at several Florida farms.

There are many seed brokers trying to sell seeds or clones they say are ‘certified,’” the Florida Hemp Association stated. “Make sure you get confirmation that they are either a university-approved Pilot Project Hemp Seed or a hemp seed certified by AOSCA.”

See the FDACS website on hemp here.

The Florida Hemp Association also announced that it has partnered with Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. to provide insurance for Florida hemp growers, processors, manufacturers, retailers and supporting entities. Alliant is a national insurance broker with extensive agricultural experience and  has been working with businesses in the industry since its inception in 2013, according to the association.

It can be difficult to find crop insurance and other coverage for new hemp businesses. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture did roll out a crop insurance solution for the 2020 season, but unfortunately this was not made available for Florida farmers,” the association stated.  

Source: Florida Hemp Association

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