Commercial Industrial Hemp Registration Requirements

 

ON TUESDAY, JUNE 18TH, THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS PASSED AN URGENCY ORDINANCE PLACING A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON THE CULTIVATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP. DUE TO THIS MORATORIUM OUR DEPARTMENT IS NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE COMMERCIAL CULTIVATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP OR THE NOTIFICATION OF ANY NEW AG RESEARCH INSTITUTION CULTIVATION SITES. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE PROVIDED AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. 

 

COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL HEMP CULTIVATOR & SEED BREEDER REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

(Regulations went into effect on 4/25/2019 opening up the registration process for the cultivation of commercial Industrial Hemp)

The registration fee and completed application must be submitted to the San Luis Obispo County Ag Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fee and application must be submitted in person during standard business hours at the Ag Commissioner’s San Luis Obispo Office (2156 Sierra Way, Suite A, SLO)
  • The $900 fee must be paid in the form of a check or cashier’s check made payable to “CDFA Cashier”
  • The registration application for commercial cultivators or commercial seed breeders must be complete and accurate. Applications are available to download on the CDFA website: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/industrialhemp/ under Forms.

Growers cannot legally plant industrial hemp until the application has been reviewed and approved by the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. As described in the California Food & Agricultural Code, the Ag Commissioner shall issue a registration to the applicant after determining if the application meets requirements for registration. Our office will need up to ten working days to review submitted applications and determine if the application is in accordance with State law. All efforts will be made to assess the applications as quickly as possible, and growers will be directly notified upon approval.  

COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL HEMP APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

The following items will be assessed prior to issuing a registration to the applicant:

  1. The registration application is complete and accurate (as described in FAC 81003/81004).
  2. Confirmation that the variety of industrial hemp proposed to be grown meets the requirements listed for approved seed cultivars (as described in FAC 81002 & CCR 4920).
  3. Confirmation that planting has not occurred prior to the registration being issued by the SLO County Ag Commissioner’s Office: site visits of the proposed planting location may be made.
  4. Confirmation that the proposed planting area meets the size limitations described in State law
    (FAC 81006(a)).
  5. Signage indicating that the plot is industrial hemp is required by State law (as described in FAC 81006). It is recommended that signage be posted prior to planting. We will not delay issuing a registration for lack of signage, but it must be in place at the time of planting.
  6. For those plots proposed that occur over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, confirmation from the San Luis Obispo County Planning Department that the proposed planting meets the requirements of the County’s Ag Offset Ordinance. 
     

    Message from the San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning & Building:

    The Planning Department will seek direction from the Board to update the Ag Offset Ordinance to include a water duty factor for outdoor hemp cultivation in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.  Once a water duty factor is established and the ordinance is updated, hemp growers will be eligible to apply for ag offset clearances.  Until this time, the department is not accepting ag offset clearance applications for outdoor hemp.  Nursery hemp offset clearance applications will be processed under the current ordinance using the water duty factor for nursery cultivation.

    Please contact the Planning Department with any questions regarding meeting the requirement of the Ag Offset Ordinance applicable to those sites located over the Paso Robles Groundwater basin.

 

Additional Regulatory Considerations:

Any industrial hemp plant containing more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered cannabis under both Federal and State law and would be subject to all applicable Federal and State statutes. In addition, any industrial hemp which exceeds 0.3 percent THC is subject to San Luis Obispo County’s cannabis ordinance and would be subject to abatement under the rules detailed by county ordinance.

The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) is currently in the process of developing state regulations governing the THC sampling and testing process for commercial industrial hemp growers. Existing State law requires that all commercial industrial hemp crops must be sampled and tested no more than 30 days before harvest (see FAC 81006(d) for details).

State regulations or regulatory guidelines are expected to be available prior to harvest. Commercial industrial hemp cultivators will need to comply with all regulations or regulatory guidelines in order to meet State law and provide confirmation that they are growing industrial hemp and not cannabis. Failure to meet those regulations could result in crop destruction and further action based on state and local cannabis rules.

Commercial industrial hemp cultivators will also need to comply with any additional local restrictions regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp that may be established by the County.

COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL HEMP CULTIVATORS OF NURSERY STOCK (SEEDS, SEEDLINGS, & CLONES)

For growers who intend on selling industrial hemp seedlings, clones, cuttings, etc. for planting or propagation, a License to Sell Nursery Stock issued from CDFA is also required. Some seed breeders will also require a Nursery Stock license if they sell any type of seedlings or cuttings; seed breeders who only sell seeds and do not sell or ship other types of nursery stock do not require a nursery license but will likely require a CDFA application to sell seed.  

INDUSTRIAL HEMP ADVISORY NO. 02-2019:
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/industrialhemp/docs/letters/IndustrialHempLetter-NurseryLicense_ADA.pdf

CDFA NURSERY LICENSE APPLICATION WEBSITE:
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pe/nsc/nursery/

Reference

Industrial Hemp