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Industrial Hemp Update, March 2019 (Updated June 2019)

March 14, 2019 and updated June 5, 2019 Industrial Hemp Farming Update: The 2018 federal Farm Bill has authorized states to develop regulations related to the growing of industrial hemp. In recent weeks we have seen increased interest by landseekers wanting to grow hemp, and landholders willing to work with hemp farmers. In order to better serve this sector, we have added Industrial Hemp as a crop type in our application process. Farmers looking to grow industrial hemp will need to register and pay a permit fee per grow site to their County Agricultural Commissioner’s office. We are now able to provide lease-related technical assistance to farmers and/or landholders where hemp is part of the crop plan; however, it is the responsibility of the tenant and landlord to assure that all appropriate permits are secured.

We will follow the development of the permit process which will be required by California law in order to grow industrial hemp. The regulations guiding that process are being developed, and this document provides an overview from the California Industrial Hemp Program. California FarmLink strongly urges any landholder considering an industrial hemp operation on their land to learn about the program and ask the farmer(s) to demonstrate that they have secured a permit.

At this time, California FarmLink is unable to provide loans for farm businesses that intend to grow hemp. However, we will develop a lending policy that adheres to federal regulations that the USDA Farm Service Agency recently informed us should be completed in time for the 2020 planting season. Thus, we do not expect to make such loans at least until next year.  Thank you.

We value your involvement and support, and we look forward to bringing new tools online to better serve you.  Thank you.

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