Is hemp legal to grow in California?


The federal Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (HR 525) amended the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, "to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of "marihuana" and defines "industrial hemp" to mean the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, and deems Cannabis sativa L. to meet that concentration limit if a person grows or processes it for purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with state law." In 


The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Assembly Bill 566, Chapter 398, Statutes of 2013) was signed into law to authorize the commercial production of industrial hemp in California, and became effective on January 1, 2017, due to a provision in the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64, November 2016). 

The Act also revises “the definition of “marijuana” so that the term would exclude industrial hemp,” and “defines industrial hemp as a fiber or oilseed crop, or both, that is limited to the nonpsychoactive types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and the seed produced therefrom, having no more than 3/10 of 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).” See the complete language here.

The bill creates a four-county pilot program in Imperial, Kern, Kings and San Joaquin, “except when grown by an established agricultural institution,” and requires industrial hemp to be cultivated only from seeds imported in accordance with laws of the United States or from seeds grown in California from industrial hemp plants or grown from industrial hemp plants grown by an established agricultural research institution.

The Act further requires that “prior to the harvest of each crop, a laboratory test of a random sample of the crop to determine the amount of THC in the crop.”

Licensing for California farmers and other agricultural growers will be granted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CFDA), and are expected to be available in November 2017. For more information, contact the California Industrial Hemp Program at industrialhemp@cdfa.ca.gov.

What is the potential size of the US hemp products market?

The 2016 annual retail sales for hemp products was estimated at $688 million, with hemp foods constituting 19% ($129.3 million); personal care products constituting 24% ($163 million); textiles, 14% ($99.5 million); supplements, 4% ($26 million); hemp dietary supplements, 4% ($26 million); industrial applications such as car parts constituted 18% ($125.5 million); and other consumer products such as paper and construction materials accounted for the remaining 2%; and hemp derived cannabidiol or CBD products constituting 19% ($130 million) of the market.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the sharpest growth in the market comes from hemp’s health and medicinal applications that come from hemp-derived CBD. Last month, the Hemp Business Journal predicted the CBD market will grow 700 percent, becoming a $2.1 billion industry in the next three years.

How do I grow agricultural hemp in California?

Agricultural hemp, and the means to grow agricultural hemp in California must be purchased, cultivated, transported and sold in accordance with Federal and State laws (see above) and in accordance with the regulations and licensing policies in California, that are currently being established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Farmtiva will be providing legal advisory, growing and sales channel services to California Farmers and other Agricultural growers, based on our decades long experience and premium contacts in the U.S. and California hemp industries.

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