There is immense confusion surrounding the regulations of hemp in California. The two-part series in this article will help you understand the policy and insider tips to enter the market and become successful. Hemp guides give you the procedure to start investing in the business that is just picking up.
The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis
You can only proceed in the business when you understand the significant difference between cannabis and hemp. Cannabis is a plant family consisting of Indica and Sativa. Hemp falls under the Cannabis Sativa family. Due to this, there is a low concentration of THC in the hemp. However, marijuana has concentration levels of THC between 15% – 40%, as it falls in the Indica or Sativa families.
If you plan to invest in cultivating hemp in California, it is essential to understand the specific definition. According to the CDFA, “Industrial hemp is a crop consisting of Cannabis Sativa L with no more than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol in the dried flowering tops.”
Hemp guidesand Farming
Unlike cannabis, which falls under the Federal Schedule I as a controlled substance, hemp does not have any federal regulation. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 helped in removing hemp from the list of federally controlled substances. Thus, it opened a new market that does not fall into any financial or tax codes like that of the cannabis market.
Simultaneously, in 2018, the governor approved Senate Bill 1409 that permits individuals to cultivate industrial hemp in California. Before passing the bill, only qualified cultivators had the right to grow industrial hemp.
The new regulations and the new market provide an excellent alternative opportunity for cultivators. They can take part actively in the cannabis market that does not have high barriers or competition.
It is difficult to explain the state law relating to hemp cultivation. It is because of the misalignment of the state regulations with that of the federal regulations. California allows commercial hemp cultivation, but conflicting articles of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bill do not.
The Farm Bill 2014 did not allow the cultivation of commercial hemp. However, the Farm Bill 2018 deregulates the previous bill, provided that the state submits the hemp production plan to the USDA. Therefore, in theory, the USDA must review and approve California’s state plan of cultivating industrial hemp. Nonetheless, California has started accepting hemp cultivation applications.
Registering as A Hemp Farmer
It is essential to receive approval from the local county agricultural commissioner to become an industrial hemp grower. Hemp guides give you all the details about the application and finding the local agricultural commissioner’s office.
When compared with the commercial cannabis market, you do not require the state’s registration to grow industrial hemp. All you need is the county’s registration number. You can find applications for both seed breeders and growers on the CDFA website. Please note that you will be paying the registration fee annually.
The application seeks necessary information about the owner, the business plan, cultivation site, site information, and GPS coordinates. Only a few counties are accepting the applications. Therefore, it is essential to check with the local county agricultural office to ensure that they accept the industrial hemp cultivation applications before proceeding.
Seed Breeders Versus Cultivators
You can participate in California’s hemp market as a hemp seed breeder or as a cultivator. If you plan to supply cultivate hemp for commercial purposes, you must choose the application for growers. Likewise, you will be filling the application for seed breeder if you are growing industrial hemp for seed development. Alternatively, you can fill both the applications if you tend to operate as a breeder and cultivator.
How to Sell Hemp in California?
You can sell the cultivated hemp through the California farmers market program. Once you receive the certification that you are a producer of industrial hemp through the CFM program, you can start selling your product. Apart from the market, you can approach a licensed cannabis retail store. However, take note that the Bureau of Cannabis Control monitors cannabis retailer’s activities.
Starting A Farm in California
As hemp does well in warm weather, the plant thrives in California’s ecosystem. Experts state that planting the seeds directly in the soil is more effective than planting in pots and transplanting in later stages. You can taste success and profits only if you have a lot of space. The minimum requirement is at least 50 acres, and the profit ranges between $130 and $730 per acre.
An effective way to start hemp farming in California’s hemp industry is to attend a workshop. Hemp guides also provide in-depth details about the industry, regulations, and the continually changing forms from CDFA and USDA. Consulting the experts also helps in getting the taxes in order before entering the emerging market.