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Field of green hemp plants

County Hemp Ordinance Update

Author: Department of Planning and Building
Date: 5/22/2020 2:27:37 PM

On May 5, 2020, the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance allowing industrial hemp cultivation in certain unincorporated areas of the county with the exception of the Edna Valley area.

The following information is being provided as a guide to the factors under which hemp cultivation is allowed.


  • Industrial hemp cultivation is permitted in the Agriculture, Rural Lands and Rural Residential (indoor non-flowering transplants only) land use categories. 

Property Size:

  • Outdoor industrial hemp cultivation is only permitted on sites that are at least 400 acres.
  • Indoor industrial hemp cultivation is only permitted on sites that are at least 5 acres.


  • Outdoor industrial hemp cultivation must have a setback of 2,000 feet, which means that a hemp grow cannot be located within 2,000 feet of any neighboring property lines located in Agriculture and Rural Lands land use categories.


  • Indoor industrial hemp cultivation must be in a fully enclosed building or greenhouse and setback 100 feet from any existing offsite residence of separate ownership and requires ventilation controls to eliminate nuisance odors located in Agriculture, Rural Lands and Rural Residential (non-flowering) land use categories.


  • No permits are required for hemp but you must register with the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures.  If the site is located over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, you must also obtain a water offset clearance from the Department of Planning & Building.

Existing Hemp Farms:

  • If you have an existing hemp farm, you will need to discontinue your operation if you do not meet the requirements of the ordinance. If you believe you meet the requirements, please contact the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures.  

More Information: