What is this service?
All registered commercial industrial hemp crops must be sampled and tested, according to applicable California state regulations, to ensure compliance with the legal thresholds for THC (no more than 0.3%). Our staff must take official samples from your growing site(s) and send them to an accredited laboratory.
The sampling and testing process is initiated by the grower’s submission of a Pre-Harvest Report form (PHR). The PHR must be filled out and submitted to the SLO County Agricultural Department at least 30 days prior to your intended harvest date. Incomplete PHRs could delay your sampling date which could lead to your official sample exceeding the legal THC threshold and being subject to possible crop destruction. PHRs must be emailed to [email protected] or faxed to (805)781-1035.
Prior to submitting your PHR, you must do the following:
- Arrange for transportation and lab analysis with one of the labs provided in the attached list(Coming Soon). If you would rather work with a different lab, please make sure that the lab has the required accreditations and can fulfill the industrial hemp sample regulations. Submit those accreditations to the SLO Agricultural Department for review. The lab you choose must offer a courier service for transportation of the samples to their respective labs. Currently, there are no local certified labs that are accredited to conduct THC analysis. There is at least one local lab in the process of obtaining its accreditation but until that process is completed, they do not meet the regulatory requirements for official testing.
- Set up an account with the lab you chose for courier and lab analysis services prior to submitting the PHR. Sampling will not be scheduled until we confirm you have met this requirement. To ensure the integrity of the chain of custody requirements and due to the restrictions currently imposed by private parcel delivery services (e.g. FedEx & UPS), only lab couriers will be allowed to transport these official samples. We expect that there will be additional lab options in the future, but for the 2019 harvest only labs with courier services can be used. This is subject to change if any local labs obtain their accreditation during the 2019 harvest period.
Within two business days after receiving your completed PHR, our staff will contact you to make an appointment to sample your field(s). You (or your representative) need to be present at the site during the sampling process. You have the option to request sampling for an entire site or for portions of a site. Please remember that you will only be allowed to harvest the portion(s) of the site that were sampled, tested, and determined to have a THC level of 0.3% or less. If sampling portions of a site are requested, those areas need to be conspicuously marked, and a map displaying the areas must be submitted to the SLO Ag Department.
Each composite sample for a specific site or area will include five primary samples from five random plants. The chain of custody for the collected composite sample(s) will be maintained by Ag Commissioner staff until officially provided to one of the certified lab’s courier service.
When you receive lab results confirming that the THC content is 0.3% or less, you will be allowed to harvest your crop. You have 30 days to harvest from the sampling date. For example, if your samples were taken on Aug. 1 and you received lab results on August 10, you have 20 days remaining to complete your harvest. Harvesting is not allowed until acceptable lab results are received.