State and Federal Regulations


Federal Regulations.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Section 10113 (2018 Farm Bill) authorized the production of hemp and removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administrations schedule of Controlled Substances. Here is a link to the farm bill.


The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

Subtitle G—Hemp Production


‘‘In this subtitle:

“HEMP. —The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Cannabis with a THC level exceeding 0.3 percent is considered marijuana, which remains classified as a schedule I controlled substance regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the CSA.

The farm bill requires all hemp producers (i.e. State or Indian tribe) meet Licensing requirements, maintain information of the land on which hemp I produced, procedures for testing the THC concentration levels for hemp, procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants, compliance provisions and procedures for handling violations.

In 2019 The USDA issued an interim final rule to help facilitate the production of hemp. It implemented a hemp program that reviews state and tribal plans, established a federal plant for hemp producers who do not have their own and expands on the requirements of the farm bill. Here is a link to The Interim Final Rule of the USDA.

California regulations.

In California the California Department of Food and Agriculture regulates the production of hemp through the California Industrial Hemp Program. Here is a link the CDFA’s Website.

It establishes the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board consisting of 13 members from research institutions, industrial hemp growers, the CA sheriff’s association, county agricultural commissioner, representatives of business and a member of the public.  This board advises the secretary and makes recommendations on law, enforcement, annual budgets ext. You can find meeting information here.

The CDFA outlines the requirement for a grower of industrial hemp to register with the county ag commissioner. These include GPS coordinates of the industrial hemp cultivation site, the varieties that will be used, the measures taken to destroy or dispose of any plants over 0.3% and a plan to test a representative sample of plants grown.

This is a non-comprehensive summary of the testing guidelines as outlined in California Industrial Hemp Law (FAC 81000-81015).

  1. An industrial hemp grower shall, before harvesting obtain a laboratory test report indicating that the THC levels of a random sampling of dried flowering tops is under 0.3% THC.
  2. The timeline is left to the county ag commissioner?
  3. The sample is required to be taken with the grower present and include
    1. The number of plants to be sampled and compositing of samples
    2. The portions of plants to be sampled
    3. The plant parts to be included
    4. Any additional procedures necessary to ensure accuracy.
  4. The sample will be labeled with the registrant’s proof of registration number (that you get from the county)
  5. The testing laboratory must be approved by the department and use an approved testing method. Currently these are” Post decarboxylation or similarly reliable method”. The report is indicates the THC concentration levels on a dry-weight basis and the measure of uncertainty associated with the test results.
  6. If the laboratory test results indicate that the THC is greater then 0.3% but less then 1% the registrant shall submit additional samples. If the second test shows the same results then the destruction or disposal shall take lace as soon as practical but no later then 45 days after the receipt of the second report.
  7. If the laboratory test shows that the percent THC exceeds 1% then the destruction and disposal shall begin within 48 hours and be completed within seven days. 
  8. If the registrant indented to grow industrial hemp and complies with the guidelines for destruction then they shall not be prosecuted for the cultivation or possession of marijuana s long as the THC does not exceed 1%.
  9. Keep the laboratory test report for a least two years, provide it to any officials that request it and include it in the chain of custody for all products of the hemp plant.

The CDFA also outlines the procedure for handling violations of these requirements.

This page contains a general overview of regulations. It is not intended to constitute legal advice; all materials are for general informational purposes only. The information contained on this website, or on the linked third-party websites may not be the most up to date legal or other information.