The Legal Status of Hemp Flower in California And Where to Buy

Hemp Flower California

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

Ironically, the Golden State is still behind on state hemp laws. In California, you are allowed to consume marijuana edibles and smoke pot rather than include hemp CBD in your tea or coffee. 

Farmers are impatient to take advantage of the warm climate and cash in on the new crop. What is the status of hemp flower in California? Can you buy hemp CBD in the Golden State? Let’s take a look. 

Is Hemp Flower Legal in California?

The situation with hemp and hemp-derived products in California is complicated. Although hemp is legal on a federal level, California put out strict laws regarding the use of hemp, especially hemp CBD

The state banned selling CBD from hemp in food products. This means that CBD from marijuana is legal in California, but CBD, including CBD oil, from hemp, is not, because the compound hasn’t been regulated on a federal level. 

Where does this put non-food products such as vape pens and raw products such as CBD flower

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDFA), “California law does not currently provide any requirements for the manufacturing, processing, or selling of non-food hemp or hemp products.” [1]

So far, the state hasn’t issued a written statement that bans the use of non-food hemp CBD products, including vape pens, topicals, and creams. Until further notice, non-food CBD and hemp products seem to be in a legal gray area. 

Furthermore, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recommends both manufacturers and sellers to check in with their local health agency to make sure if a product is allowed to sell.

So, is hemp flower legal in California? Hemp flower seems to be in a legal gray area in this state. This means that hemp flower is not entirely illegal under the state law but remains unregulated. 

Update 2/14/2020

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. [1]

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. 

Regarding hemp CBD, California is waiting on FDA’s regulations of CBD and has not publicly identified as lawful products such as hemp cosmetics and hemp smokables.

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

MrHempFlower.com delivers hemp flower 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.

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Buy Online: California Hemp for Sale

Stack up with our top-sellers Special Sauce CBD Hemp Flower and Elektra 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

2018—Senate Bill 1409 [1]

The bill allowed commercial cultivation of hemp and took effect January 1, 2019. The bill 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. 

2014Attorney General opinion 13-1102 [1]

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. 

2013The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act [1]

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.  

The Issue With California and Hemp CBD in Food Products

Although hemp is an agricultural commodity under federal law, California has prohibited to use and sell hemp in food. So, this ban is mostly about hemp CBD in foods, rather than hemp itself. According to the California Health and Safety Code,

“‘Industrial hemp’ means a crop that is limited to types of the plant Cannabis sativa L. having no more than three-tenths of 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in the dried flowering tops, either growing or not; the seeds of the plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin produced therefrom.” [1]

To be clear, CBD is not prohibited in California. You are still allowed to buy CBD from marijuana with more than 0.3% THC, which is completely legal. 

A memo issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in July 2018 has confirmed that CBD is not allowed in any food products in the state of California. [1]

So, low THC food products that contain CBD from hemp are not allowed in this state because, according to the FDA, things intended for human consumption have to be cultivated, regulated, and tested. California incorporates federal law regarding food additives, labeling, dietary products and overall good manufacturing practices for food. The memo explains that

“CBD and CBD oil derived from industrial hemp is not approved for human and animal consumption by the FDA as a food and therefore cannot be used as food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.”

This prohibition from the CDPH falls under the Sherman Law, the law that regulates food, drugs, and cosmetics in California. The Sherman Law defines “food” as:

“Any article used or intended for use for food, drink, confection, condiment, or chewing gum by man or other animals.” [1]

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. [1]

Future Implications of Hemp Laws in California

As of the writing of this article, more than 20 counties in California are accepting applications from interested farmers in growing hemp. Some counties are simply not accepting any applications from farmers because of the risk of cross-pollinationthe pollen from hemp may cross to marijuana plants and lower the plant’s THC levels and potency. 

Regarding the situation of adding CBD in food products, there is hope. Basically, the state has gotten closer to allowing CBD in foods and licensed facilities. In March 2019, the state amended Assembly Bill 228, putting the law closer to allowing hemp CBD to be included in food products. [1

AB-228 added that hemp CBD foods and beverages are not adulterated and are safe for human and animal consumption. This means that if the AB 228 goes into law, it will make hemp-derived CBD legal in California. The revised text of the bill also stated that:

“The sale of food and beverages that include hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp shall not be restricted or prohibited based solely on the inclusion of industrial hemp cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp.”

In July 2019, AB 228 was amended and if it becomes law, the hemp industry across California will get a chance to thrive. The bill would require food manufacturers that include hemp CBD to obtain certain registration that meets all federal requirements. Whole foods, beverages, or cosmetics won’t be considered adulterated by the CDPH only because they include CBD. 

The bill also states that raw hemp products, such as hemp flower, would need to undergo lab testing to get certificates and analysis before offered to consumers. 

FAQ on Hemp Flower California State Laws

How much hemp flower can you purchase at once (or one time) in California?

California is still in the process of adopting hemp/CBD regulations. Right now, there are no limitations on the quantity of hemp flower you can purchase at once in California. It is important to note that some dispensaries may propose a limit on their own.

Do you need a special license to purchase hemp flower in California?

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

Is it legal to sell hemp flower in California?

Cultivation and sales of hemp flower remain in the grey legal zone in California. The law doesn’t explicitly allow or ban the sale of non-food hemp products, including vape pens, so many people order their hemp flower online. 

Is CBD from hemp legal in California?

California has banned the use of CBD in food products. The state hasn’t issued an official statement regarding non-food CBD hemp products, such as vape pens and raw hemp parts.

Where can you buy hemp flower in California?

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. 

Is CBD oil legal in California?

CBD oil derived from marijuana is legal in California. The state has prohibited the use of CBD oil derived from hemp in food products or as a dietary supplement. 

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