The Federal Seed Act started in 1939 to ensure accurate labeling of seeds used for commerce, particularly in terms of purity. The USDA is in charge of enforcing labeling laws. They also try to promote uniformity among states in terms of labeling requirements. While many states have similar labeling regulations, individual state laws still exist in this regard, and they can vary greatly. Hemp seed companies then must put a lot of time and energy into making sure they comply with each state’s law if they are planning to transport seeds there. Most hemp seeds are sold across different states, so labeling is of utmost importance.
The federal requirements for labeling seeds, which includes hemp seeds, are lengthy. Labels must have the name of the plant, variety name, pure seed percentage, other crop seed percentage, inert matter percentage, weed seed percentage, name of noxious-weed seeds and number per pound, germination percentage, dormant seed percentage, test date, lot number, interstate shipper’s complete name and address, inoculated seed, and treatment used.
Individual states may then have additional labeling requirements for hemp seeds. For instance, Connecticut and Pennsylvania require the label to include the germination rate. Hemp seed labels may also have a special “blue tag” for certified seeds. In order to have the blue tag, seeds must be certified according to AOSCA standards for hemp crops. This tag makes it easy to see when seeds have genetic purity and varietal identity certification. Because some states only allow the cultivation of certified hemp seeds, this blue tag is important. As demand dictates, many American hemp seed banks have pre-certified hemp seeds available.