Many folks have been patiently awaiting the launch of California’s commercial hemp program, which has taken nearly 3 years since the passage of Prop 64 to emerge. However, the wait has finally come to an end as the state recently instated a process for industrial hemp registration along with a complete application and set of regulations.
On July 8, 2019, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) released an industrial hemp registration application packet along with information about the registration process. Although the regulations and application for industrial hemp cultivation are defined by the CDFA at the state level, applications must be submitted directly to county agricultural commissioner where they will be reviewed at the county level. Cultivators must submit an application for each county where cultivation will occur. If all requirements are met, the county agricultural commissioner will issue a license valid for one year – but it’s not quite that easy.
California state law specifically allows local jurisdictions to establish their own additional regulations for hemp cultivation. In other words, counties have the right to prohibit hemp cultivation within county boundaries. Counties may also refuse to begin accepting and processing applications until they have a local process established for registration, which could take months or even years. This creates yet another delay for some individuals seeking to register for industrial hemp cultivation. Some counties have already passed regulations fully prohibiting industrial hemp cultivation, while others have passed partial restrictions. The July 8th CDFA memo included in the registration application packet identifies 30 counties which have already passed restrictions and/or prohibitions on industrial hemp cultivation: Amador, Calaveras, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, & Yuba.
To date, only 22 California counties have stated that they are currently accepting applications for industrial hemp cultivation. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County is not one of those, but this does not mean the county will not begin accepting applications in the near future. Our team has already taken steps to begin lobbying the County of Los Angeles in order to facilitate the passage of progressive hemp cultivation regulations within the County.
The registration application packet for industrial hemp cultivation requires the preparation and submission of boundary map/site plan, zoning and parcel information, and information about the individuals who will be operating the cultivation site. Applications must be submitted to your county’s agricultural commissioner along with a $900 application fee in order to be considered.
If you are interested in applying for a hemp cultivation license, contact a member of our team today. We are here to help with all aspects of your registration process – from identifying cultivation properties in counties which are currently accepting applications all the way through application submission. If you are interested in cultivating hemp in a county that is not currently accepting applications, our team can lobby your county officials to help move things forward.
If you have additional questions about California's industrial hemp program or are interested in working with our team, email us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org