“Be careful! Buyer beware!”
That’s the warning coming from Don Robison in the Office of the Indiana State Chemist about predatory hemp seed vendors known to be active in the state.
This is the first year that hemp will be grown in Indiana as a commercial crop and not a research crop.
“There are suppliers, some- definitely not all, but some suppliers in that market who are taking advantage of the lack of an overall market awareness from some of these new buyers.”
Robison says a list of permitted suppliers is available on the Office of the Indiana State Chemist website. Purchasing from suppliers on that list could save some headaches that others have dealt with.
“We’ve had situations where somebody will demand payment upfront and then not deliver the seed. We’ve had situations where people will just outright lie about what they’re selling and will actually sell a grower marijuana seed because that’s what they have to sell and then tell them, ‘No, it’s a compliant hemp seed.’”
And Robison warns if the crop is “hot”, meaning it has over the legal limit of THC, there are other legal issues that could arise.
In addition to the warning about predatory seed vendors, Robison continues to warn growers that they must have a market prior to growing a hemp crop.
“There is 2018 and 2019 crop stored in barns and obviously 2020 crop stored in barns. There are only 7 processors, or handlers, in Indiana. Not all of them are taking on additional crop at this point. If you don’t have a firm, solid, legally checked contract, you’ve got no business growing this crop.”
Robison urges growers to contact their office if they’ve had issues with their hemp seed vendor, even if they are on the permitted list.