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Due to significant public health concerns from the COVID-19 coronavirus and the proclamation of a local emergency established to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures will be closed to the public until further notice. Please contact the Department via phone or email for additional information or to obtain necessary services.

Please see the March 2020 Department of Agriculture / Weights and Measures Update for more information and a list of the Department‚Äč's ‚Äčessential services that will continue to be performed during this closure.

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Industrial Hemp

On May 5, 2020, the County Board of Supervisors passed a permanent industrial hemp ordinance that goes into effect June 4, 2020.  This new county law will supersede the urgency ordinance that had been enacted in June 2019.  The permanent ordinance allows the cultivation of industrial hemp in most unincorporated portions of San Luis Obispo County if several restrictions and requirements are met.  Those restrictions and requirements to cultivate industrial hemp are summarized below in table 1 and table 2.

Table 1. Cultivation of Industrial Hemp -Outdoors

Land Use Zoning

Restrictions

 

Agricultural Land

  • Site must not be in the Edna Valley as delineated by the Edna Valley American Viticultural Area boundary.
  • If cultivation site is in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, it must comply with those requirements.
  • Sites must be 400 acres or larger
  • Cultivation site must be at least one mile from Urban Reserve or Village Reserve Lines
  • Cultivation site must be at least 2000 feet from all adjacent property lines
  • Cultivation is not allowed under hoop houses. 

 

 

 

Rural Land

Rural Residential

No outdoor cultivation is allowed.  Only indoor transplants are allowed in this zoning (see table 2 below).

Table 2. Cultivation of Industrial Hemp -Indoors

Land Use Zoning

Restrictions

 

Agricultural Land

  • Site must not be in the Edna Valley as delineated by the Edna Valley American Viticultural Area boundary.
  • If cultivation site is in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, it must comply with those requirements.
  • Sites must be 5 acres or larger
  • Cultivation must take place in fully enclosed permitted buildings or greenhouses.  Hoop houses don’t meet this definition and are not allowed.  
  • Cultivation site must be at least 100 feet from existing offsite residences of separate ownership.
  • Must meet nuisance odor requirements (e.g. ventilation controls or other mechanisms that prevent nuisance odors from being detected offsite). 

 

Rural Land

 

Rural Residential

  • Only cultivation of transplants allowed.  Plants entering any portion of the budding or flowering stage do not meet the definition of “Industrial Hemp Transplants.”
  • Plus all requirements for cultivation in Agricultural and Rural Lands as outlined above in table 2.

If the growing site meets the local land use rules as described in the permanent ordinance and summarized above, then the SLO Department of Agriculture will be able to issue a California State industrial hemp registration in accordance with the requirements set forth in the California Food & Agricultural Code.

If you have a parcel that you believe hemp could be cultivated in accordance with the local San Luis Obispo County land use rules, you can inquire and receive a preliminary site assessment from our department prior to submitting your registration fee and application. Please email us at [email protected] and provide the APN number of the parcel and indicate whether you are planning on growing indoors in a permitted greenhouse or outdoors.  For more information regarding the registration process, , you can review the Commercial Industrial Hemp Registration Requirements.

Registered growers cultivating commercial industrial hemp must have their crops sampled and tested to determine their crops content of THC.  Please refer to our Sampling and Testing page to review the legal requirements for THC  testing. 

Additional Industrial Hemp Information, Rules, and Policy at the local and statewide level, are available at California Industrial Hemp Advisory Board website.

Related Services

Commercial Industrial Hemp Registration Requirements
What to Know Before You Grow Hemp in the County of SLO
Commercial Industrial Hemp Sampling & Testing