Buying and Selling Hemp Seed in NC

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hemp seed in petri dishes; ungerminated and germinated

Conducting a germination test on hemp seed.

2/11/2020- There are many people getting involved in the hemp industry who are new to agriculture. They may not all be aware of the state and federal rules and regulations that are in place to protect the farmer and our environment. This post is specifically about buying and selling hemp seed in North Carolina. The NC Seed Law is in place to ensure the quality of seed that is guaranteed on the label. All seed packages are required to have a label. Growers should read the label to know what they are buying.

All seed packages need the following information on the label;

  1. Name and Kind
  2. Lot #
  3. Weight
  4. State or country of Origin
  5. % of inert matter
  6. % other crop seed
  7. % weight of weed seeds
  8. The name and number per pound of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed present.
  9. The name and address of the person/company responsible for the seed.
  10. % Germination, exclusive of hard seed.
    1. % of hard seeds if present
    2. The calendar month and year of the test date.

NOTE: There isn’t a minimum standard germination for hemp since it is not defined as an agriculture or vegetable seed. For example, a company may guarantee 10% germination on a label and still sell it as long as the seed is at least 10% for germination. Also, note that the percentage of feminized seed in the packet is also not addressed by the Seed Law.

Seed complaints may be filed with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services against the seed retailer but it is highly advised to try to work out any issues with the seed company before filing a complaint. For more information, please visit the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division, Seed, and Fertilizer Section webpage at:


Thank you to Brian Bowers, Seed and Fertilizer Administrator, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for providing me with this information.