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Industrial Hemp

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Senate Bill 566, Chapter 398, Statutes of 2013) was signed into law to authorize the commercial production of industrial hemp in California.

New UC hemp publication shows potential symptoms caused by herbicide drift.

“When they see unexpected damage on the plants, our growers, county agricultural commissioners and pest control advisers need to be able to determine whether a crop might have been subjected to herbicide drift from an adjacent field or orchard,” Light said. “We provided science-based evidence that can help guide their judgment.”

Hemp in Sonoma County

In Sonoma County, there is a moratorium on growing hemp that expires in April 2020. The Agricultural Commissioner's office proposed a county ordinance at the January 6, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting.


The proposal was accepted and the ordinance is being written. The Sonoma County Dept of Agriculture hopes to start accepting registrations in the near future, planting cannot start until 4/30/2020 (due to the moratorium). 


California Department of Food & Agriculture:

California Department of Public Health:

United States Department of Agriculture:

Food and Cosmetics

Per CDPH's FAQs – Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol:

"The current position of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is that CBD is an unapproved additive, and CBD in dietary supplements and pet food are also unapproved.  This is because CBD is not currently considered to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)and because CBD is an active pharmaceutical ingredient in an approved prescription drug product...
Hulled hemp seed, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil are the only components of hemp that are GRAS and allowed in food.
CBD derived from hemp or any other source is currently not allowed in any of the items regulated by the Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Public Health, including foods, drugs, and cosmetics."

Selling Hemp at Farmers Market

Per CDFA's Market Manager FAQ's:

"Hemp can potentially be sold as nursery stock or as an herb in the clearly defined marketing area where only agricultural products may be sold within a certified farmers’ market (California Code of Regulations section 1392.2(l)). However, all other applicable laws and regulations still must be strictly adhered to, including, but not limited to: California Industrial Hemp Program; Nursery Stock Registration & Certification Programs; and local ordinances.

Hemp by-products such as sunscreen, shoes, balms, clothes, soaps, etc. are not agricultural products for the purposes of direct marketing and cannot be sold in the clearly defined marketing area where only agricultural products may be sold. (Food and Agricultural Code section 47000.5(a)(2))."

Crop Insurance for Hemp

Once the hemp program is rolled out in Sonoma County, crop insurance will be available. Visit USDA Risk Management Agency to learn more.

See also: Ask the Expert: A Hemp Q&A about USDA's Multi-Peril Crop Insurance hemp pilot program to insure hemp on USDA's Farmers.gov

Industrial Hemp Workshop Presentations

From the November 2019 workshop at SRJC Shone Farm.




Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers Video

Sharing from Mendocino County RCD.

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) teamed up  with Happy Day Farms to produce an 8-minute video, based on the Watershed Best Management Practices for Cannabis Growers and Other Rural Gardeners guide. “The video is a great way to reach a wide audience in practical ways to conserve water, enhance soil health and protect watersheds,” says project lead Patty Madigan. “A video is a powerful educational tool to communicate conservation guidelines.”

Featuring panoramic vistas and gorgeous footage of a biodiverse enterprise, the video was shot on a northern Mendocino County organic farm that integrates its production with farm-grown veggies, flowers and eggs—and legal Cannabis. The focus of the 8-minute video is “what it means to be a good steward of the land”. Funding for the video was obtained through the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, through grants from the Resources Legacy Fund and the Campbell Foundation.

Video: BMPs for Cannabis Growers 

2018 guide publication in English and Spanish

Some Hemp History

Hemp for Victory from USDA in 1942 encourages growing hemp for the war effort and goes on to educate farmers how to grow this ancient crop.

Although it was deemed illegal in 1937, during World War II, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was lifted briefly to allow for hemp fiber production to create ropes for the U.S. Navy but after the war hemp reverted to its illegal status.

Learn more from 8 Things You Didn't Know About Hemp from PBS, 2015