California Industrial Hemp Program

1220 "N" Street, Sacramento, CA 95814  •  916-654-0435  •  industrialhemp@cdfa.ca.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is "industrial hemp"?

According to California Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 11018.5:

"Industrial hemp" means a crop that is limited to types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. having no more than three-tenths of 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the dried flowering tops, whether growing or not; the seeds of the plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin produced therefrom.

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81000(d) adopts the HSC Section 11018.5 definition of "industrial hemp."

What is the difference between industrial hemp and cannabis/marijuana?

Cannabis is defined in California Business and Professions Code (BPC) Section 26001(f). The BPC Section 26001(f) definition explicitly states that cannabis does not include industrial hemp.

For information on the cultivation of medical and adult-use cannabis, contact the CDFA's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Program.

Is growing industrial hemp legal in California?

Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Code provides for the cultivation of industrial hemp by registered growers and established agricultural research institutions.

Is industrial hemp federally regulated as a controlled substance?

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, effective January 1, 2019, removed hemp from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Thus, hemp is no longer federally regulated as a controlled substance.

Are there any pending changes to federal law regarding industrial hemp?

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2018. More information on the 2018 Farm Bill

Additional information regarding pending federal legislation

Are there any pending changes to California law regarding industrial hemp?

Senate Bill 1409 was approved by the Governor on September 30, 2018 and will take into effect on January 1, 2019.

Additional information regarding pending state legislation

How can I receive updates regarding industrial hemp regulation?

You can sign up to receive e-mail updates from CDFA regarding industrial hemp by visiting CDFA's subscription web page, or by sending a blank e-mail to: join-cdfa_list_phpps_industrial_hemp@lists.cdfa.ca.gov

Importation/Movement of Industrial Hemp

Can I import industrial hemp seeds/plants from another state?

California law does not currently have any restrictions specific to the importation of industrial hemp seeds/plants into California.

Industrial hemp seeds/plants imported into the state must meet all plant pest quarantines and may be subject to an agricultural inspection for plant pests. For more information regarding plant pest quarantines that may apply to industrial hemp seeds/plants, contact the CDFA Pest Exclusion Branch.

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81002 requires registered growers and seed breeders, except for seed breeders developing a new seed cultivar, to only grow varieties of industrial hemp on the list of approved seed cultivars. The current list of approved seed cultivars is available in Section 4920 of the California Code of Regulations and lists cultivars authorized in FAC 81002(b).

Can I import industrial hemp seeds/plants from outside of the U.S.?

The international importation of seeds and plants is restricted under federal law. For information regarding the importation of industrial hemp seeds and/or plants, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81002 requires registered growers and seed breeders, except for seed breeders developing a new seed cultivar, to only grow varieties of industrial hemp on the list of approved seed cultivars. The current list of approved seed cultivars is available in Section 4920 of the California Code of Regulations and lists cultivars authorized in FAC 81002(b).

Will CDFA import industrial hemp seeds or plants?

No. CDFA does not import or distribute seeds or planting materials for any crops, regardless of whether the imported materials are for research or commercial purposes.

Can I bring unprocessed hemp into California?

California law does not currently have any restrictions specific to the importation of unprocessed hemp material into California. Unprocessed hemp material imported into the state must meet all plant pest quarantines and may be subject to an agricultural inspection for plant pests. For more information regarding plant pest quarantines that may apply to unprocessed hemp material, contact the CDFA Pest Exclusion Branch.

Can I bring processed hemp products into California?

Many processed hemp materials may move freely in accordance with federal law. For information on the restrictions and requirements that may apply to specific hemp products, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Commercial Cultivation

Can I grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes in California?

All growers of industrial hemp for commercial purposes must register with the county agricultural commissioner prior to cultivation. Registration applications are available on the CDFA Industrial Hemp Program web page.

For information regarding any additional local restrictions that may apply to proposed industrial hemp activities, contact the applicable county and/or city officials, including the county agricultural commissioner's office.

How do I register with the state/county to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes?

There is no state registration to grow industrial hemp; only county registration is required to grow industrial hemp under state law. Registration applications are available on the CDFA Industrial Hemp Program web page.

How much is the registration fee?

CDFA has adopted Section 4900 in Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to Industrial Hemp Cultivation Registration Fees.

The annual registration fee is $900.00 (nine hundred dollars). In accordance with California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81005(c), a county board of supervisors may also establish a fee to cover the actual costs of the commissioner and the county of implementing, administering, and enforcing the provisions of FAC Division 24. For information on local fees for industrial hemp cultivation, please contact the county agricultural commissioner’s office.

When does registration expire?

Registration is valid for one year. Registrants must renew their registrations should they continue to grow industrial hemp after the one year expires.

What type of registration will be available?

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81003 provides for the registration of growers of industrial hemp for commercial purposes. FAC Section 81004 provides for the registration of seed breeders.

Is there a list of current registrants?

Publication of a list of registered growers is not currently required in California law. CDFA will work with county agricultural commissioners and the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board to determine if/how a list of registrants may be published and what information may be made available.

Is the CDFA Industrial Hemp Program an agricultural pilot program as defined in Farm Bill Section 7606?

California Food and Agricultural Code Section 81007 allows for CDFA to promulgate regulations to establish an agricultural pilot program as defined in federal law. The pilot program will be developed with consideration of recommendations from the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.

What are the laws and regulations regarding the production of industrial hemp in California?

California's industrial hemp law can be found in Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Code.

The CDFA adopted Section 4900 in Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to Industrial Hemp Cultivation Registration Fees, and Section 4920 and Section 4921 pertaining to the list of approved seed cultivars. The text of the adopted regulation can also be accessed through the CDFA Industrial Hemp Program webpage.

Further regulations pertaining to cultivation will be developed with consideration of recommendations from the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board, and promulgated through the regular rulemaking process in accordance with the California Administrative Procedure Act. CDFA will notify the public via our electronic mailing list as regulations are posted and available for public comment. For more information regarding the regular rulemaking process, visit the Office of Administrative Law's website.

What are the local requirements regarding the production of industrial hemp?

For information regarding any additional local restrictions that may apply to proposed industrial hemp activities, contact the applicable county and/or city officials, including the county agricultural commissioner's office.

Does California law allow cultivation of industrial hemp for personal use like the Adult Use of Marijuana Act allows for cultivation of cannabis for personal use?

California law does not provide for cultivation of industrial hemp for personal use like the Adult Use of Marijuana Act provides for cannabis.

Whom do I contact for information about the cultivation of other forms of cannabis?

Licensing and regulation for the cultivation of medical and adult-use cannabis is overseen by the CDFA's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing program. For more information regarding cultivating forms of cannabis other than industrial hemp, contact CDFA's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Program.

What cultivars or varieties of industrial hemp may I grow?

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81002 requires registered growers and seed breeders, except for seed breeders developing a new seed cultivar, to only grow varieties of industrial hemp on the list of approved seed cultivars. The current list of approved seed cultivars is available in Section 4920 of the California Code of Regulations and lists cultivars in FAC 81002(b).

Where can I find more information about seed certification?

Industrial Hemp Seed Certification Standards are available. For information on seed certification in California, contact the California Crop Improvement Association.

How do I grow industrial hemp?

Other than practices and reporting mandated by Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Code, CDFA does not provide guidelines or recommendations for cultivating industrial hemp.

What pesticides can I use on industrial hemp?

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) regulates pesticide sales and use. For information regarding pesticide use on industrial hemp, contact DPR.

Where can I obtain certified industrial hemp seed?

CDFA does not maintain a list of sellers of industrial hemp seed. For information on the certification of industrial hemp seed in California, contact the California Crop Improvement Association.

What happens if my industrial hemp crop tests over the legal limit of 0.3% THC?

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81006(d) specifies THC content and crop destruction requirements.

Can my industrial hemp crop be labeled and/or sold as organic?

CDFA's Organic Program enforces the federal Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the California Organic Food and Farming Act of 2016. For information regarding labeling and/or selling industrial hemp as organic, contact CDFA's State Organic Program.

Industrial Hemp Advisory Board

What is the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board?

California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81001 establishes an Industrial Hemp Advisory Board to advise CDFA and make recommendations pertaining to the cultivation of industrial hemp, including industrial hemp seed law and regulations, annual budgets, and the setting of an assessment rate. FAC Section 81001 also outlines the membership and administration of the Board.

When is the next Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meeting?

In accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, a meeting notice for any board meetings will be posted on our meeting information web page at least 10 days prior to the meeting, and, at the time of posting, the notice will also be sent out to interested parties via our electronic mailing list.

Can I participate in the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meetings?

All meetings of the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board are open to the public. Meeting notices are posted on the meeting information web page, and all interested parties are encouraged to attend and participate.

Who is on the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board?

A current list of members of the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board, including terms of office, is available here.

Are there any vacancies on the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board?

There are currently no vacancies on the Board. Any future vacancies will be announced via a CDFA press release, and CDFA will also notify the public via our electronic mailing list.

Where can I find more information on past Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meetings?

Information on past meetings, including minutes and recordings, is available on the meeting information web page.

Established Agricultural Research Institutions

What is an "established agricultural research institution"?

Under California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81000(c):

"Established agricultural research institution" means any institution that is either:

(1) A public or private institution or organization that maintains land or facilities for agricultural research, including colleges, universities, agricultural research centers, and conservation research centers; or

(2) An institution of higher education (as defined in Section 1001 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that grows, cultivates or manufactures industrial hemp for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research.

Can my established agricultural research institution register to grow industrial hemp?

An established agricultural research institution, as defined in California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Section 81000(c), is exempt from registration and may currently grow industrial hemp in California. The CDFA is currently drafting regulations to govern cultivation by established agricultural research institutions.

For information regarding any additional local restrictions that may apply to any proposed activities, contact the applicable county and/or city officials, including the county agricultural commissioner's office.

Manufacturing, Processing, & Sale of Industrial Hemp & Hemp Products

What are the laws and regulations regarding the manufacturing, processing, and selling of non-food industrial hemp and hemp products?

California law does not currently provide any requirements for the manufacturing, processing, or selling of non-food industrial hemp or hemp products.

Do I need a license or permit to manufacture, process, or sell non-food industrial hemp or hemp products?

California law does not currently provide for a permit or license for the manufacturing, processing, or selling of non-foodindustrial hemp or hemp products.

Can I sell food containing industrial hemp or derived from industrial hemp?

We recommend you contact your local public health official for more information on general rules and restrictions that may apply to any products you intend to manufacture or sell.

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has published FAQ answers to questions related to manufactured food products containing cannabinoids. For more information regarding California and federal guidelines on industrial hemp-derived products, contact CDPH.

Can hemp products be sold at certified farmers' markets?

The California Farmers' Market (CFM) Program provides opportunities for certified producers to directly market their agricultural products at certified farmers' markets throughout the State. For information regarding selling products at certified farmers' markets, contact CDFA's CFM Program.

Can I sell hemp products in licensed cannabis retail stores?

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is responsible for regulating commercial cannabis licenses for retailers, distributors, microbusinesses, testing laboratories, and temporary cannabis events. For information regarding selling products in licensed cannabis retail stores, contact BCC.

Can I sell hemp products as organic?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) enforces laws pertaining to processed products marketed as organic. For more information regarding marketing products as organic, contact CDPH.

Can I use industrial hemp for animal feed?

CDFA's Commercial Feed Regulatory Program (CFRP) is responsible for the enforcement of California state law and regulations pertinent to the manufacturing, distribution and labeling of commercial livestock feed while preventing adulterated feed from being consumed by livestock and poultry. For more information regarding livestock feed, contact CDFA's CFRP.

Who Should I Contact If I Have Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions, you may email industrialhemp@cdfa.ca.gov or call (916) 654-0435.