It seems like every American farmer nowadays wants to become a hemp cultivator. And, honestly, who could blame them? Not only is the CBD market booming, but there are also dozens of potential uses for industrial hemp ranging from paper and packaging to fuel and textiles.
With this increased demand, many US farmers are transitioning out of crops like tobacco and moving into the wonderful world of hemp. This is especially true in California where weather patterns are particularly favorable for hemp cultivation. Unfortunately, many California-based farmers put off their hemp growing plans simply because they don’t understand the complex rules governing the plant.
If you live in the Golden State and are interested in purchasing hemp seeds, then this article will interest you. In addition to exploring legal issues surrounding the purchase of hemp seeds, we’ll go over some of the best hemp suppliers who will ship to your area. Once you finish this piece, you should have a better idea of how to properly order the hemp seeds you need.
Are Hemp Seeds Legal?
The big news out of the 2018 US Farm Act was that hemp became decriminalized at the federal level. Obviously, this makes it a whole lot easier to move hemp-related goods, seeds, and plants across North America. Plus, researchers no longer have as much difficulty testing the many cannabinoids and terpenes found in different hemp strains.
This doesn’t mean, however, that hemp laws are the same in every state. Indeed, there are a few states that ban the cultivation and/or use of hemp, and some truck drivers have faced jail time for transporting high-CBD strains across state lines.
In the case of California, the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture‘s (CDFA) clearly says the Golden State has no laws barring vendors from importing hemp plants or seeds. The only restriction would be if the crop didn’t pass a standard plant pest inspection.
To grow commercial hemp in California, you must apply to the CDFA’s Industrial Hemp Program. On top of a $900 processing fee, you’ll need to send your county’s CDFA commissioner info on your farm’s location and the hemp strains you’ll be cultivating. For more detailed information on the application process, please visit this official webpage.
Who Regulates Hemp Seeds in California?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will be in charge of regulating hemp per the 2018 Farm Act. Currently, the AMS is gearing up for these new responsibilities and expects to implement hemp regulations by the end of 2019 fully.
Another agency involved in regulating the new hemp industry is the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Working closely with the AMS, NIFA is mostly concerned with helping scientists who are interested in conducting laboratory work on hemp.
To help address any questions people might have concerning hemp regulation, the AMS has set up an official webpage that can be accessed here. You could also send a question electronically to AMS’s hemp department using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Look for When Buying Bulk Hemp Seeds in California
Since there aren’t any FDA inspections governing the hemp industry, it’s important for customers to thoroughly research any company they’re interested in purchasing seeds from. Take a look at how long the farm has been in business, average customer ratings, and the company’s growing processes to get a sense of its reliability.
Keep in mind there’s a significant difference between cultivating bulk industrial hemp and high-CBD hemp. With high-CBD strains, you need to be pickier about the quality of your seeds. Specifically, you must ensure all of your hemp seeds are feminized. Using male seeds won’t yield nearly as much CBD as unpollinated female plants.
Best Hemp Strains to Grow in California
There’s a good reason California is such a hot spot for American agriculture: the weather. Indeed, Cali is one of the rare places in the USA that has a stable, mild Mediterranean climate. Very few hemp strains perform poorly when grown underneath California’s iconic sunshine.
One strain that performs particularly well in Californian soil is the fruity Cherry Wine. Due to its popularity in the hemp community, almost all Californian seed banks today supply premium feminized Cherry Wine seeds. Other high-CBD strains that do well in California include Ringo’s Gift, AC/DC, Cannatonic, and Stephen Hawking Kush.
Best CBD Hemp Seeds Suppliers in California
Headquartered in Laguna Beach, Farmtiva remains the dominant player in California’s industrial hemp market. The reason for Farmtiva’s fame mainly has to do with the company’s founder & CEO Chris Boucher. For over 25 years, Mr. Boucher has been a prominent voice in favor of hemp cultivation and is considered an expert on the subject.
For those interested in buying seeds from Farmtiva, the company currently offers four hemp strains: Cherry Wine, BaOx, Youngsim 10, and Autoflower Otto 11. Out of these four, Cherry Wine is the only one offered as a pure feminized seed. BaOx and Youngsim 10 are both sativa hybrids, whereas Autoflower Otto 11 has traces of ruderalis.
Since Farmtiva is extremely well known, it’s a good idea to call the company ahead of time to ensure your preferred seed is in stock. To order hemp seeds, you need to fill out the official hemp seed application on the company’s website.
Ventura Seed Company
As the name suggests, Ventura Seed Company works primarily with farmers throughout Ventura County. Interestingly, this California-based company also has affiliate farms in many other states like New York, Indiana, and Colorado, to supply hemp goods throughout the year.
On its website, Ventura Seed Company repeatedly points out that all of its products are USDA-approved organic. Indeed, this company even partnered with Pennsylvania’s Rodale Institute of Organic Agriculture to prove its commitment to organic growing. Executives take a great deal of pride, providing consumers with high-quality seeds untouched by toxic chemicals.
The broader reach of Ventura Seed Company’s operation means there are usually hemp seeds available for purchase no matter the time of year. The most common feminized strains in Ventura Seed Company’s portfolio include Cherry Wine and Merlot. There’s also been word Ventura Seed Company is working on an autoflowering CBD strain.
Unlike the other two companies listed above, Discount Pharms isn’t primarily focused on hemp farming. According to its mission statement, this Mammoth Lakes-based company is most interested in helping small hemp and cannabis companies market their products.
That being said, you could order hemp seeds like Cherry Wine, Remission, and Afternoon Delight through this company’s online portal. Not only that, Discount Farms offers a good variety of CBD clones, flowers, and hemp concentrates.
Just remember that Discount Pharms also sells high-THC strains of cannabis. People who are wary about THC levels should do a thorough screening of Discount Pharms’s products before making a purchase.
Where Discount Pharms really shines, however, is in its extensive list of media services for companies in the hemp business. In addition to marketing and advertising, Discount Pharms offers many specialized services such as lab testing, packaging, labeling, and security inspection.
CBD Hemp Seeds Suppliers Who Ship to California
Although Industrial Hemp Farms (IHF LLC) isn’t headquartered in California, it’s worthwhile for Californian farmers to keep this name in mind. As one of the largest hemp wholesalers in America, IHF is a force to be reckoned with in the global hemp industry.
IHF began cultivating industrial hemp in 2015 on its 300-acre farm in Calhan, Colorado. Still proudly headquartered in the Centennial State, IHF now offers one of the most diverse hemp catalogs in the USA. IHF offers certified wholesale regular a feminized hemp seeds.
The primary item in IHF’s portfolio will always be wholesale hemp biomass, but there are plenty of premium hemp seeds available for Californian growers. Some of IHF’s most popular seeds include strains like Cherry Wine, Wife, T1, Spectrum, and Super Lemon Haze.