Hemp Flower in California: Is It Legal & Where to Buy in 2023

Hemp Flower California

Californiathe first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996—is one of the most progressive, cannabis-friendly states.

Ironically, the Golden State was behind on state hemp laws, especially in the realm of CBD. Now, California has regulated most hemp-derived products, so a few restrictions are involved. 

What is the status of hemp flower in California? Can you buy hemp CBD in the Golden State? Let’s take a look. 

Last Update: June 10, 2023

Article Summary

  • Hemp flower and inhalable hemp products, like pre-rolls, cigarettes, etc. are not allowed for sale within California’s borders.
  • State law (Assembly Bill 45) permits the manufacture and distribution of inhalable hemp products only for out-of-state sales.
  • CBD oil and food CBD products are legal in California and must be manufactured by licensed processors who comply with the state’s food and cosmetic manufacturing requirements.
  • Both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in California.

Is Hemp Flower Legal in California?

The legal status of hemp flower and smokable hemp products in California is complicated. 

After years of failed attempts, California finally passed a bill that allows the manufacture and use of hemp-derived CBD under strict regulations. Assembly Bill 45, passed October 2021 legalized the production of CBD in food, drinks and cosmetics, but NOT inhalable hemp products.

Unfortunately, the sale, use, and possession of inhalable hemp products, such as hemp flower, hemp cigarettes, etc. is prohibited in California. The manufacture and distribution of inhalable hemp products is only allowed for out-of-state sales.

Under current law, these are the types of industrial hemp products allowed for sale in California: 

  • Shelf-stable food (e.g. baked goods, candy, confections, dried mixes, etc.)
  • Dietary supplements taken by mouth (e.g. botanicals, herbs, powders, amino acids, etc.)
  • Cosmetics (e.g. lotions, balms, makeup, salves, cleansers, etc.)
  • Pet food (e.g. food for animals NOT including livestock)
  • Beverages
  • Raw hemp extract

The inhalables produced in California (for out-of-state sales) must not contain alcohol, nicotine, tobacco, or any other prescription or “over-the-counter” drug.

Where to Buy Hemp Flower in California?

The law regarding production and sales of hemp products is murky, so many people decide to order hemp flower online. 

Mr. Hemp Flower delivers hemp products to all 50 states under the 2014 Farm Bill. We include third-party lab test results that confirm the levels of THC in each bundle (0.3% or less) and a notice to law enforcement. 

Here are some things you need to know before buying hemp flower in California:

Reliable Supplier

The hemp industry is developing at a fast pace, so it is normal to be confused with all of the hemp-derived products pushed your way. 

So, simply by choosing organically grown hemp flower brings you on the right track. Hemp flower is one of the purest, least expensive, and most natural ways to consume CBD. But, it is important to choose a reliable supplier that offers quality, high-CBD hemp flower. Our CBD flower is 100% USA organically grown and gets shipped within 3-5 days. We offer free shipping on orders over $100.

Buy Online: California Hemp for Sale

Stack up with our top-sellers such as Special Sauce CBD Hemp Flower. With a rich terpene profile, these two are great for calming pain and inflammation and helping you sleep. 

A Short Overview of California Hemp Laws

2021 – Assembly Bill 45

Passed October 2021, AB 45 legalized adding CBD to human food, drinks, cosmetics, and animal food. Hemp-derived CBD is regulated by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) in California [1].

2018 – Senate Bill 1409

The bill allowed commercial cultivation of hemp and took effect January 1, 2019. It requires registration with the state Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and counties for permission. The bill provided other rules and obligations and proposed regulations for registration of commercial cultivators [2]

2014 – Attorney General opinion 13-1102

California Attorney General issued opinion 13-1102 which stated that the provisions of the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act are authorized to the extent allowed by federal law. Commercial cultivation of hemp was not allowed in California [3]

2013 – The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act

The bill redefined “marijuana” in the Health and Safety Code by excluding industrial hemp from the definition. Even before the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, the act added a section to regulate the production of hemp through research institution and commercial cultivators [4].

Medical Marijuana is Legal in California

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, after the passage of the “Compassionate Use Act.” 

The Law allows patients diagnosed with a medical condition to obtain a medical marijuana ID card. Patients can grow or possess larger quantities of marijuana compared to recreational users, but only with a doctor’s recommendation. To buy marijuana in some dispensaries, patients under the age of 21 need a doctor’s recommendation. 

Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under federal law, so doctors are not allowed to “prescribe” marijuana. Doctors can only “recommend” it to patients with conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and other illnesses. 

California Hemp Program 

In October 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 153 into law. The bill changes previous hemp cultivation laws drastically and brings state laws in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill [5]. 

SB 153 took effect January 1, 2020, and contains major changes, including:

  • A new definition of “industrial hemp.” 
  • Requires the California Department of Agriculture to submit a state hemp plan to the USDA.
  • Establishes rules on which institution qualifies as an established agricultural research institution.
  • Establishes rules for registration of both commercial and non-commercial growers
  • In California, hemp can not be cultivated in licensed cannabis facilities — otherwise, it will be considered cannabis. 

Is CBD Legal in California?

Yes, hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is legal in California. 

CBD is allowed in food and cosmetics that must be manufactured under California’s food and cosmetics requirements. Manufacturers who make different hemp products must obtain special licenses for each category of product and comply with the Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law.

CBD products must not exceed 0.3% THC and cannot be added to food at restaurants or retail stores.

FAQ on Hemp Flower California State Laws

You can purchase as much hemp flower as you wish in California, but only as a processor or distributor that offers it for sale in other states.

No, you don’t need a special license to purchase hemp flower in California.

Directly to consumers as a finished product meant for smoking, no, hemp flower is not legal to sell. But, if you are a grower or handler that sells to processors or distributors, yes, you can sell hemp flower in California. 

Yes, CBD from hemp is legal in California and can be used in extracts, oils, and food products.

Because of hemp flower being in a grey area in California, many people decide to purchase their CBD flower online. Industrial hemp is no longer federally regulated as a controlled substance. 

Yes, CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is legal in California regardless if derived from hemp or marijuana. 

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