Industrial Hemp

Moratorium on hemp cultivation

On November 17, 2020, the Board of Supervisors voted to enact Ordinance No. 2020-28, an urgency interim ordinance imposing a 45 day moratorium on industrial hemp cultivation. On December 15, 2020, the Board voted to enact Ordinance No. 2020-30, extending the moratorium until March 10, 2021. On March 9, 2021, Ordinance No. 2021-10 (PDF) further extended the moratorium to September 30, 2021. While the moratorium is in effect, no new registrations for the cultivation of hemp will be issued, and current registrations will not be renewed unless the grower's existing cultivation site is located more than one mile outside the Urban Limit Line or is located within an existing, legally established greenhouse. Growers that meet the renewal criteria may continue cultivation of industrial hemp under this interim ordinance subject to the following restrictions:

  •  cultivation of nursery stock is prohibited
  •  movement of plants from the site at any time prior to harvest is prohibited
  •  artificial lighting at an industrial hemp cultivation site is prohibited

For more information, please contact the Department of Agriculture at (925) 608-6600.

hemp page photoWhat is industrial hemp?

"Industrial hemp" or “hemp” is an agricultural product that is defined as any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. Hemp has been excluded from the definition of marijuana at the federal level, and is no longer regulated as a controlled substance.

Can I legally grow industrial hemp in Contra Costa County?

Yes you can. Before you plant, you must register with the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture.  It costs $900 to register and registration is valid for one year.  Hemp cultivation registration forms (PDF) are available through the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Industrial Hemp website.

Contra Costa does not have any county-specific ordinances related to cultivating industrial hemp and does not charge any fees beyond the $900 registration fee.

As part of the application process, you must identify the outline of the growing area where the hemp will be cultivated and the cultivar that you will plant.  You must have a cover letter issued by the Contra Costa Department of Agriculture that documents this information before you start planting.

If you intend to sell transplants, seedlings, or tissue culture plants, you will also need to obtain a license to sell nursery stock (PDF).

If you have been convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance, you are ineligible to participate in the program for 10 years following the date of conviction.

Forms

Industrial Hemp Grower Registration (PDF)

Industrial Hemp Breeder Registration (PDF)

Pre-Harvest Report (PDF)

Harvest Report (PDF)

Destruction Plan PDF)

Resources

CDFA Industrial Hemp Program

CalCannabis Program

CDFA Nursery, Seed and Cotton Program

County Departments of Agriculture

USDA Hemp Program