CBD Hemp Seeds Can Now Be AOSCA-Certified — Why Hemp Growers Should Care

Remember when hemp was first legalized and the mass confusion (and major disappointment) over “certified” hemp seeds?

Growers assumed “certified” meant the hemp seeds they were buying would grow as advertised. “True to type.” After all, that is what “certified” infers in other crops farmers are used to planting. But it didn’t work out that way with hemp. 

In the first crazy year after legalization, “certification” typically referred to a state-approved seed list, usually based on a cultivar’s supposed ability to produce in the state without going over THC limits. (Although, even that has often proved not to be true!). Or, sometimes “certification” was referencing a COA (certificate of analysis).  

But neither of those “certifications” guaranteed that those hemp cultivars would produce true to type as advertised. The varietals often weren’t stable enough. They hadn’t been selected for enough generations to produce as described reliably. What most buyers were expecting when they heard the word “certified” was AOSCA (The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies) certification.

AOSCA is the U.S. gold standard for seed production and the agency tasked with certifying the genetic purity of commercially-produced seeds (grains, legumes, vegetables, flowers, etc.). But, AOSCA had no process for accommodating the feminization process when hemp was first legalized. AOSCA had certified hemp seeds, but they were all fiber varietals, where the naturally dioecious traits of the hemp plant (producing female and male plants) didn’t matter. 

That’s now changed! As of the end of 2020, AOSCA created an application process for certifying feminized hemp seed. And, we’re proud to announce that one of Trilogene Seed’s cultivars — Sangria — has received its coveted AOSCA certification. We’re one of just a handful of hemp seed breeders who have so far received the coveted AOSCA certification in this first round and we’re very proud of the accomplishment!

Should the Hemp Industry Support AOSCA-Certified Seeds? YES! 

But, now that true “certified” hemp seeds are becoming available, does it matter? 

Since 2019, many of the worst offenders of unreliable hemp cultivars have been naturally weeded out of the industry. The reputable breeders have continued to work with the seed lines they had established and now some of us (Trilogene included) have varietals that have been stable for many generations of grow outs.

Well, we think AOSCA certification matters to the hemp industry. Very much so. AOSCA certification legitimizes the industry, just like university research trials do — another process Trilogene Seeds has been happy to support.  

Getting AOSCA certified shows that a hemp breeder is dedicated to reaching industry seed standards every other agricultural sector expects when it comes to their seeds. A wheat farmer deciding to put in a new varietal of wheat would take for granted the seed his trusted provider was selling him was genetically stable, that it was “certified.” 

High cannabinoid hemp growers deserve no less!

Inevitably it will take a bit of time for hemp growers to submit all their potential certification candidates to AOSCA and move through the process. Trilogene plans to submit around five more cultivars via the next round. So, there will be some lag time as the industry catches up. Still, ultimately AOSCA certification is a signal that the hemp industry is maturing, becoming more stable and ultimately producing the quality, reliable seed stock that growers must be able to count on to achieve a successful harvest.  

It also means that those seed breeders (Trilogene included) working to develop cultivars for overseas markets now have the traceability to be approved with European Union certifying agencies.

So, look for more AOSCA certifications coming down the pipeline. Ask your seed breeder about it. They might not have strains quite ready for AOSCA submittal or they may be in the midst of the process. AOSCA is the gold standard after all and typically takes several years of testing for approval. But, at the very least, they should be aiming for it.  

CBD hemp growers, and the hemp industry, deserve seeds they can trust. Certifiably so. 

Trilogene Seeds has AOSCA-certified Sangria clones available NOW. AOSCA-certified feminized Sangria seeds will be available for sale at the end of 2021. 

For more information on Trilogene Seeds’ hemp cultivars, visit our website at www.trilogeneseeds.com. Email us at sales@trilogeneseeds.com or call at (630) 605-1707.