California Industrial Hemp Program

California Industrial Hemp Program


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. The Act became effective on January 1, 2017, due to a provision in the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64, November 2016).

As directed by this Act, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing a program to administer this new law.

The first step of this process is to establish an Industrial Hemp Advisory Board. With assistance from the Board, CDFA will further develop the registration process, fee structure, regulations, and other administrative details as necessary to provide for the commercial production of industrial hemp in accordance with the Act.

For more information, contact the California Industrial Hemp Program at


California Industrial Hemp Program



HEMP THE WORLD – Begin in your state!

HEMP THE WORLD – Begin in your state!

Hemp Cultivation is moving into full swing in the US despite challenges in state-to-state regulations supporting the farmer, the consumer and the state. The main point is to Hemp the World, and bring natural resource sustainability back to all life!’ Darlene Mea, comments

As you might remember, a few months ago, the Roundtable’s intrepid attorneys at Frost Brown Todd identified a provision buried in the statutes of more than a dozen states – when there was a federal de-classification of a drug, the state must follow suit.

This led to an obvious conclusion – hemp should be removed from drug control in these states.


Our voice was heard.

This week, we heard back from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Their Commissioner reviewed our letter and agreed: and on March 15, he filed a regulatory amendment declassifying hemp as a controlled substance. 

Of course, there’s more work to be done.

An important bill has been filed by Rep. Tracy King which would not only establish a hemp growing program in the Lone Star State but also make 100% clear that hemp products such as CBD could be sold at retail. Read more here.

We need your help: 

Head over to our State Action Center.

There you will insert your address, and with the click of a button you can fire off your own letter to your legislators in Austin, encouraging them to support hemp farmers and hemp products for consumers. 

If you don’t live in Texas, please share this portal with your friends in Lone Star State, as well as all of your social media contacts, helping us keep the pressure on Texas policymakers.  As we’ve proven so often in the past, when we share our voices, politicians listen.




Hemp Farms In Texas? Ag Commissioner Sid Miller Among Backers For Legalization

Hemp Farms In Texas? Ag Commissioner Sid Miller Among Backers For Legalization

Kris Taylor was accepted into medical school. But instead of becoming a doctor, the Texan moved to California to pursue something he was really passionate about. Hemp.

“I don’t remember what I told them I was going to do, but I definitely remember I didn’t tell them I was going to grow cannabis,” he said.

Taylor, who grew up in Plano, is a cofounder of Lumen, a company that makes farm-to-bottle hemp elixirs using cold-pressed hemp mixed with herbs like ginger and turmeric.

Along with Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Taylor is among those rooting for state Senate Bill 116, which would allow Texans to grow hemp — an offshoot of marijuana without the high.

“I went and learned about the industry and fell in the love with the plant and its capacity,” Taylor said. “I have family members that have used cannabinoids for medical treatment for pain and PTSD and all sorts of things.”

» No high with hemp

Hemp is different from marijuana. Though they’re both a form of cannabis, hemp doesn’t contain the psychoactive principle THC found in marijuana, so it can’t get you high. But it’s a versatile crop with seemingly endless possibilities.

“It’s got a really high quality fiber that’s on the stalk. It can be used for everything from auto parts to even some pretty high-tech applications, like a replacement for graphene in superconductors,” said Eric Steenstra. He’s the president of Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization that promotes hemp farming in the U.S.

“And then when it comes to the flowers and the cannabinoids, they have really incredible potential from a health standpoint,” he said. “And the seed — super nutritious as well.”

In 2014, a farm bill passed allowing states to research hemp with the assistance of universities and under close oversight. Now, after the passing of the 2018 farm bill, any state can legally grow hemp as long as the state doesn’t have existing legislation prohibiting it.

Vote Hemp helped draft the federal hemp legislation, and now it’s working with Texas and other states to legalize the crop. A Texas Senate bill with bipartisan support has been filed to do just that.

But Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said he doesn’t know if it’s ready to pass just yet.

“It’s a little bit incomplete, not quite comprehensive enough. I know there’s others working on a more comprehensive bill,” he said.

» Why is hemp illegal?

Today, the only way to farm cannabis in Texas is through the Texas Compassionate Use Program. The program allows patients with intractable epilepsy to be prescribed low-THC cannabis and allows farmers with the correct license to dispense it.

Otherwise, cannabis and its by-products are illegal in Texas, but Commissioner Miller is advocating for that to change.

“It gives us another alternative. Most of the commodities right now are not turning a profit, so this would be something that they could possibly make a profit on,” he said.Daulton O’Neill said hemp could be a huge boom for the Texas economy. He’s the President of Green Light Events in Dallas, a company that hosts events targeted at the cannabis community and lobbies for hemp legalization in Austin.

He plans to grow hemp as soon as legislation is passed and thinks it could be a new cash crop for Texas.

“Not only is it going to be a job creator and economic engine, but it’s going to save farmers and save Texas traditions,” he said.

» The challenges of growing hemp in Texas

But hemp will present some challenges to Texas farmers. For one, hemp is delicate. Farmers who used pesticides or heavy metals in the past on crops like cotton, will need to invest in soil remediation.

O’Neill said there’s also manufacturing to think about, since there aren’t many hemp processing plants in the U.S.

“Hemp is only worth what you can manufacture and process it into,” he said. “If all you have is the plant, you’re going to have to pay a lot of other people off in order to get your product in a highly valuable form.”

Commissioner Miller said it’s not likely hemp legislation will pass in time for spring planting, so O’Neill hopes to plant his first hemp crop this time next year.

Yasir Hashim is another cofounder of Lumen, the California hemp elixir company. He, too, has his eyes on Texas.

“Texas is home for us — it’s where we have family, it’s where we’ve left family,” Hashim said.

And this Texan said he can’t wait for the day he can bring his business back home.

This story originally appeared at

U.S. Jumps to No. 3 Among Top Hemp Growing Nations

U.S. Jumps to No. 3 Among Top Hemp Growing Nations

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The USA has jumped into the top ranks of global hemp growing nations, recording a tripling of land under hemp to reach a total 78,176 acres (about 31,000 hectares) in 2018, according to the American hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp. Vote Hemp had recorded about 25,000 acres of hemp fields across the USA in 2017. Twenty-three states grew hemp in 2018, Vote Hemp said.

Globally, that puts the USA third, behind world leader China (400,000 acres/162,000 ha.) and northern neighbor Canada (100,000 acres/40,000 ha), and is nearly double the land sown for hemp in France (42,000 acres/17,000 ha.), Europe’s leading hemp grower. Only about 110,000 acres (44,000 ha.) of hemp were grown across all of Europe in 2017, the year for which the most recent figures are available.

Montana expands fast

The rapid expansion of hemp fields in the USA last year was driven primarily by anticipated passage of the U.S. Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the U.S. narcotics list. The Bill became law in late December. Strong demand for CBD was a major contributing factor in the growth of U.S. fields.

Internally in the U.S., Montana recorded the most fields under hemp last year with 22,000 acres (about 9,000 ha.), a drastic increase over the 542 acres (219 ha.) sown in 2017. Montana eclipsed perennial hemp leader Colorado, which was the second biggest grower in the USA last year with 21,578 acres (8,700 ha.), Vote Hemp reported.

41 states are active

Forty-one U.S. states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.



Three Potential Paths For Farming Hemp

Three Potential Paths For Farming Hemp

In the 2018 Farm Bill, one of the major changes was allowing the production of industrial hemp. The number of uses for the crop numbers in the thousands and early estimates say the market could be worth up to $10 billion by the year 2025.

During the snowy days of winter, Grand Forks, North Dakota farmer Chris Adams has plenty of time to reflect on last year’s harvest that included not just corn or soybeans but hemp.

“My my theory was, if you’re in on the ground floor of something new then you have quite the advantage,” says Adams.

He now has hemp in bins and plants stacked in barns waiting on a trip to a processor.

“I would be lying if I said money had nothing to do with it because the financial part of it is huge,” says Adams.

Adams, like many in agriculture, is looking at continuing to add hemp acres as a path to better profits.

Michael Bowman, with the North American Industrial Hemp Council, believes American farmers are poised to capitalize on this burgeoning market.

“I think if there’s anything that agriculture is good at, we’re good at innovating, creating and executing,” says Bowman

And while acreage isn’t huge it has the potential to grow.

Tyler Mark is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky with the Ag Economics Department.

“I hear [nationwide] numbers are anywhere from 77,000 acres to 100,000 acres could very well be possible,” says Mark.

He says the state of Kentucky is expecting 25,000 to 30,000 acres of hemp this growing season since the removal of industrial hemp from the schedule 1 narcotics list.

“It’s going to really open the door for hemp to see if it’s actually going to play a role in the U.S. economy and the US farm sector,” says Mark. “It puts another tool in the tool belt, so to speak, for producers around the country.”

Currently, there are three paths of possibility for farmers considering planting hemp.

1: Grow the plants for fiber. Farmers are paid on tonnage.

“Plant 50 pounds per acre you get 175 to 200 plants per square meter, and then grow that for fiber,” says Bowman. “You’re going to drill it in, you’re going to air seed it, then you’re going to harvest it with a dual head combine and equipment that’s available today that the world uses.”

2: Grow Hemp Seed to used as a food grain.

For grain growers, existing equipment will likely get you started but there may other issues like storage to think about.

“It’s probably going into the food system,” says Mark. “So you have to think about how you rotate this crop through the bin to keep mold issues and issues inside the bin down.”

As far as profit potential goes Bowman says it depends on how much of the plant farmers want to harvest.

“They’re seeing returns in the $300 an acre range but keep in mind that’s only being able to capture the value of just the seed,” says Bowman. “The value of the stalk and the hurd and if there are investments made to take those products and do something with them then [returns] are estimated to be in the in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.”

That doesn’t compare to option 3: Growing hemp plants for oil.

The Cannabidiol Oil, also known as CBD, is credited with helping treat a host of medical problems from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation. It’s extracted from the flowers and buds of hemp plants.

“CBD production is going to be a female plant that is planted individually,” says Bowman. “It looks like a small Christmas tree farm if you are driving by.”

The work is labor intensive often requiring hand harvesting and weeding but the profit potential is high.

“So there you’re probably looking at somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000 of per acre return,” says Mark.

“The seed production is kind of a break-even deal right now the CBD production, assuming everything goes well, is quite a bit more lucrative,” says Adams.

Adams is trying his hand at a small plot of CBD production this year. Last year he ran into problems including having plants with the greater than .3 percent THC, the psychoactive compound found marijuana, which meant the crop couldn’t be sold. He blames a bad batch of seed.

” I would just remind everybody that the 0.3 THC is a global standard and it’s one that didn’t have any science behind it,” says Bowman. “It was a political move back in the 1930s when Western Europe was wrangling Eastern Europe for who got to own the seed production.”

Bowman thinks as research improves, the industry will see more discussion on where those standards will go.

As with any new industry, experts expect challenges to growth. The largest seeming to be infrastructure or having a place to take that crop once it’s grown.

“There’s a lot of interest from the private sector right now and with the descheduling of hemp we now have opened the door to USDA funding for value-added grants and infrastructure grants,” says Bowman. “Those are things that any other crop has enjoyed.”

Experts recommend having a contract before planting and as acreage increases supply, demand will need to go with it.

“One of my biggest fears is are we going to overproduce so fast that we completely swamp the demand for these products and drop prices down to really low levels,” worries Mark.

But for farmers like Chris Adams, hemp holds potential and for now, that’s enough.

“If the market maintains the dollars that it’s showing right now I can see more people jumping into it just because nothing else is really making any money,” says Adams.

Interstate hemp commerce under fire despite Farm Bill assurances

Interstate hemp commerce under fire despite Farm Bill assurances

The high-profile hemp seizures have the booming CBD industry wondering how much they can trust the Farm Bill’s guarantee that “no state or Indian tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products.”

Hemp entrepreneurs are facing jail time and hefty legal fees for transporting the plant across state lines, despite a federal guarantee that states can’t block legal hemp transport.

Massive police seizures in Idaho and Oklahoma raised questions about how state and local law enforcement are supposed to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.

Since the Farm Bill passed:

  • Four men working for a hemp-transportation company, Patriot Shield National Transport, were stopped in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for running a red light. All four were charged with drug crimes for allegedly carrying some 18,000 pounds of Kentucky cannabis destined for Panacea Life Sciences, a CBD manufacturer in Louisville, Colorado. The men said they were carrying legal hemp; federal drug authorities say the plants had too much THC to be considered hemp and not marijuana.
  •  An Oregon truck driver was arrested in Boise, Idaho, for carrying roughly 6,700 pounds of cannabis from Oregon to Big Sky Scientific, a CBD manufacturer in Aurora, Colorado.

The cases suggest that local and state law enforcement don’t understand that interstate commerce is legal now for the plant.

Industrywide chill
The cases also raise an uncomfortable prospect for the booming CBD industry: raw cannabis materials destined for CBD extraction can start out as legal hemp – testing at or below 0.3% THC – but it can mature during storage or transport so that the material becomes illegal marijuana.“We had a license for every single box in the truck,” Dickinson said. “We still believe that what we were carrying was legal hemp – and even if it wasn’t, we did our due diligence.”In the Idaho case, for example, a Big Sky official said the company will be hurt even if the hemp is released and Idaho concedes the commerce was legal, because supply-chain disruptions can hurt any new business.

“They’re paying attorney’s fees for something that was settled in federal law,” Watkins said. “They have contracts to fulfill. This is a burgeoning market.”

Patriot Shield’s Dickinson said its hemp-shipping business

has gone ice cold while folks await an Oklahoma resolution.

“Any local law enforcement can mess with any hemp shipment and delay it until the hemp is destroyed,” he noted.

Some CBD companies say they’re sticking within state borders to guard against improper police seizures.

Michael Falcone, CEO of Southern Tier Hemp in Binghamton, New York, said his company plans to extract only hemp grown in his state.

Keeping the hemp local saves money and gives law enforcement time to figure out hemp-transportation laws in the Farm Bill, he said.

“The issue we are all facing right now is that this is so new,” Falcone said. “A regulatory framework is being built as we speak.”

Published February 6, 2019 | By Hemp Industry Daily staff