California industrial hemp laws

Proposition 64 Section 9. INDUSTRIAL HEMP.

This section of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) provides for the production and processing of industrial hemp as a small scale to large scale agricultural crop and manufacturing resource. It allows for more groups to conduct research and allows smaller projects down to 1/10 of an acre plots (formerly 2-5 acres minimum).

It amends the Health and Safety Code and the Food and Agricultural Codes, as follow: 

Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read as follows:

11018.5. Industrial hemp

(a) “Industrial hemp” means a fiber or oilseed crop, or both, that is limited to types of the plant Cannabis sativa L., having no more than three-tenths of 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the dried flowering tops, whether growing or not; the seeds of the plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin produced therefrom,

(b) The possession, use, purchase, sale, cultivation, processing, manufacture, packaging, labeling, transporting, storage, distribution, use and transfer of industrial hemp shall not be subject to the provisions of this Division or of Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code, but instead shall be regulated by the Department of Food and Agriculture in accordance with the provisions of Division 24 of the Food and Agricultural Code, inclusive.

Sections 81000, 81006, 81008, and 81010 of the Food and Agricultural Code are amended to read, and Section 81007 of the Food and Agricultural Code is repealed as follows: 

81000. Definitions

For purposes of this division, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Board” means the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.

(b) “Commissioner” means the county agricultural commissioner.

(c) “Established agricultural research institution” means any institution that is either:

(1) a public or private institution or organization that maintains land or facilities for agricultural research, including colleges, universities, agricultural research centers, and conservation research centers; or

(2) an institution of higher education (as defined in Section 1001 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 USC. 1001) ) that grows, cultivates or manufactures industrial hemp for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research.

(d) “Industrial hemp” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 11018.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(e) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

(f) “Seed breeder” means an individual or public or private institution or organization that is registered with the commissioner to develop seed cultivars intended for sale or research.

(g) “Seed cultivar” means a variety of industrial hemp.

(h) “Seed development plan” means a strategy devised by a seed breeder, or applicant seed breeder, detailing his or her planned approach to growing and developing a new seed cultivar for industrial hemp.

81006. Industrial hemp growth limitations; Prohibitions; Imports; Laboratory testing 

(a) (1) Except when grown by an established agricultural research institution or a registered seed breeder, industrial hemp shall be grown only as a densely planted fiber or oilseed crop, or both, in acreages of not less than one-tenth of an acre at the same time,

(2) Registered seed breeders, for purposes of seed production, shall only grow industrial hemp as a densely planted crop in acreages of not less than one-tenth of an acres at the same time.

(3) Registered seed breeders, for purposes of developing a new California seed cultivar, shall grow industrial hemp as densely as possible in dedicated acreage of not less than one-tenth of an acre and in accordance with the seed development plan. The entire area of the dedicated acreage is not required to be used for the cultivation of the particular seed cultivar.

(b) Ornamental and clandestine cultivation of industrial hemp is prohibited. All plots shall have adequate signage indicating they are industrial hemp.

(c) Pruning and tending of individual industrial hemp plants is prohibited, except when grown by an established agricultural research institution or when the action is necessary to perform the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing described in this section.

(d) Culling of industrial hemp is prohibited, except when grown by an established agricultural research institution, when the action is necessary to perform the THC testing described in this section, or for purposes of seed production and development by a registered seed breeder.

(e) Industrial hemp shall include products imported under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2013) of the United States International Trade Commission, including, but not limited to, hemp seed, per subheading 1207.99.03, hemp oil, per subheading 1515.90.80, oilcake, per subheading 2306.90.01, true hemp, per heading 5302, true hemp yam, per subheading 5308.20.00, and woven fabrics of true hemp fibers, per subheading 5311.00.40.

(f) Except when industrial hemp is grown by an established agricultural research institution, a registrant that grows industrial hemp under this section shall, before the harvest of each crop and as provided below, obtain a laboratory test report indicating the THC levels of a random sampling of the dried flowering tops of the industrial hemp grown.

(1) Sampling shall occur as soon as practicable when the THC content of the leaves surrounding the seeds is at its peak and shall commnence as the seeds begin to mature, when the first seeds of approximately 50 percent of the plants are resistant to compression. 

(2) The entire fruit-bearing part of the plant including the seeds shall be used as a sample. The sample cut shall be made directly underneath the inflorescence found in the top one-third of the plant.

(3) The sample collected for THC testing shall be accompanied by the following documentation:

(A) The registrant’s proof of registration.

(B) Seed certification documentation for the seed cultivar used.

(C) The THC testing report for each certified seed cultivar used.

(4) The laboratory test report shall be issued by a laboratory registered with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, shall state the percentage content of THC, shall indicate the date and location of samples taken, and shall state the Global Positioning System coordinates and total acreage of the crop .If the laboratory test report indicates a percentage content of THC that is equal to or less than three-tenths of 1 percent, the words “PASSED AS CALIFORNIA INDUSTRIAL HEMP” shall appear at or near the top of the laboratory test report. If the laboratory test report indicates a percentage content of THC that is greater than three-tenths of 1 percent, the words “FAILED AS CALIFORNIA INDUSTRIAL HEMP” shall appear at or near the top of the laboratory test report.

(5) If the laboratory test report indicates a percentage content of THC that is equal to or less than three-tenths of 1 percent, the laboratory shall provide the person who requested the testing not less than 10 original copies signed by an employee authorized by the laboratory and shall retain one or more original copies of the laboratory test report for a minimum of two years from its date of sampling.

(6) If the laboratory test report indicates a percentage content of THC that is greater than three-tenths of 1 percent and does not exceed 1 percent, the registrant that grows industrial hemp shall submit additional samples for testing of the industrial hemp grown.

(7) A registrant that grows industrial hemp shall destroy the industrial hemp grown upon receipt of a first laboratory test report indicating a percentage content of THC that exceeds 1 percent or a second laboratory test report pursuant to paragraph (6) indicating a percentage content of THC that exceeds three-tenths of 1 percent but is less than 1 percent .If the percentage content of THC exceeds 1 percent, the destruction shall take place within 48 hours after receipt of the laboratory test report .If the percentage content of THC in the second laboratory test report exceeds three-tenths of 1 percent but is less than 1 percent, the destruction shall take place as soon as practicable, but no later than 45 days after receipt of the second test report.

(8) A registrant that intends to grow industrial hemp and who complies with this section shall not be prosecuted for the cultivation or possession of marijuana as a result of a laboratory test report that indicates a percentage content of THC that is greater than three-tenths of 1 percent but does not exceed 1 percent.

(9) Established agricultural research institutions shall be permitted to cultivate or possess industrial hemp with a laboratory test report that indicates a percentage content of THC that is greater than three-tenths of 1 percent if that cultivation or possession contributes to the development of types of industrial hemp that will comply with the three-tenths of 1 percent THC limit established in this division.

(10) Except for an established agricultural research institution, a registrant that grows industrial hemp shall retain an original signed copy of the laboratory test report for two years from its date of sampling, make an original signed copy of the laboratory test report available to the department, the commissioner, or law enforcement officials or their designees upon request, and shall provide an original copy of the laboratory test report to each person purchasing, transporting, or otherwise obtaining from the registrant that grows industrial hemp the fiber, oil, cake, or seed, or any component of the seed, of the plant.

(g) If, in the Attorney General’s opinion issued pursuant to Section 8 of the act that added this division, it is determined that the provisions of this section are not sufficient to comply with federal law, the department, in consultation with the board, shall establish procedures for this section that meet the requirements of federal law.

81007. Prohibitions; Deleted.

81008. Attorney General reports; Requirements

(a) Not later than January 1, 2019, the Attorney General shall report to the Assembly and Senate committees on Agriculture and the Assembly and Senate Committees on Public Safety the reported incidents, if any, of the following:

(1) A field of industrial hemp being used to disguise marijuana cultivation.

(2) Claims in a court hearing by persons other than those exempted in subdivision (f) of Section 81006 that marijuana is industrial hemp.

(b) A report submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(c) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section is repealed on January 1, 2023, or four.years after the date that the report is due, whichever is later.

81010. Operation of division

(a) This division, and Section 221 of the Food and Agricultural Code, shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

(b) The possession, use, purchase, sale, production, manufacture, packaging, labeling, transporting, storage, distribution, use, and transfer of industrial hemp shall be regulated in accordance with this division. The Bureau of Marijuana Control has authority to regulate and control plants and products that fit within the definition of industrial hemp but that are produced, processed, manufactured, tested, delivered, or otherwise handled pursuant to a license issued under Division 10 of the Business and Professions Code.

10 thoughts on “California industrial hemp laws”

    1. Hi, Maurice, that might be possible once we get it into the ground out here, so maybe sometimes in the Spring. You should contact the California Hemp Association to find out the prospects of that. The Farm Bill’s hemp amendment says that as long as “all parts of the plant” including the flowers are less than 0.3% THC it is subject to academia and in-state regulation, but I haven’t heard of anyone shipping fresh hemp around. Here is the association’s email address: info@calhemporg.com .

  1. (1) A field of industrial hemp being used to disguise marijuana cultivation.
    – this statement shows complete ignorance of the sexual relationship between “industrial hemp” and “marijuana”.

    According to Dan Sutton of Tantulus Labs, a Canadian company that specializes in cannabis cultivation technology, “the core agricultural differences between cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment.”

    In fact, scientists believe the early separation of the cannabis gene pool led to two distinct types of cannabis plants. The two species (or subspecies) of cannabis are known as Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.

    cannabis has been selectively bred over generations, and its characteristics are optimized in its cultivation environment to produce female flowering plants that yield budding flowers at the flowering stage of their life cycle,” explains Sutton.

    In contrast, Sutton describes hemp plants as “primarily male, without representing flowering buds at any stage in their life cycle.” Instead, centuries of selective breeding have resulted in “relatively low concentrations of THC, and tall, fast growing plants optimized for higher stalk harvests.”

    Achieving maximum THC levels in marijuana is tricky and requires close attention to grow-room conditions. Marijuana growers usually aim to maintain stable light, temperature, humidity, CO2 and oxygen levels, among other things.

    On the other hand, hemp is usually grown outdoors to maximize its size and yield and less attention is paid to individual plants.

    http://www.leafscience.com/2014/09/16/5-differences-hemp-marijuana/

  2. Hi Chris I am working on purchasing a piece of land in order to grow hemp to make cbd rich hemp oil for animals. Before I register with FAC I need to find a seed supplier. Could you possibly point me in the right direction? Thanks

    1. Hi, David, Anybody interested in working in that area should contact the California Hemp Association director, Wayne Richman. He can help put you in touch with the right people. You can email him at this address: ExecDirector@calhemporg.com

  3. What are the laws when it comes to Hemp byproducts farmed, processed, tested, packaged and labelled from another state?

    1. As long as there is no leaf or bud attached and there is less than 0.3 percent THC in the flowers, it’s all legal. The actual growing of the hemp could be more complicated because there is language in the US Farm Bill that mentions academic institutions and compliance with state laws, so that needs to be factored in as well. But basically it is legal to import non-drug hemp products anywhere in the US. The question about CBD is still unresolved. The DEA recently said that it still considers CBD to be a controlled substance and Congress has not taken steps to correct them or to tamp down Jeff Session’s anti-cannabis bigotry, but there has not been any significant enforcement against people who have been shipping or using CBD products. It’s still early in this administration, though.

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