Colorado, already a national leader in hemp cultivation, is pushing forward with a plan to certify seed, in part to ensure THC levels, the active ingredient in marijuana, do not exceed legal levels.

"We've always felt that if hemp is going to be an agricultural crop, it has to be treated like a mainstream agricultural crop. The grower needs to know what he is getting," said Duane Sinning, assistant director of the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Division of Plant Industry.

To be classified as industrial, hemp may contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. If hemp farmers inadvertently plant seeds that create higher THC levels in plants, those crops have to be destroyed, Sinning said.

More than 2,000 acres of land is being used to grow hemp statewide, with about 170 registered growers.

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Jerd Smith and Shay Castle ~ DailyCamera.com ~

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