Producers can now register to grow hemp, but it’s still a fuzzy process. As AgNet West reported last week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that County Agricultural Commissioner offices could begin registering producers who want to grow hemp commercially. Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales said they had had a lot of interest. “We’ve been approached by about 33 different operators wanting to know about registration and what they need to do to start growing hemp,” Gonzales said.
Unfortunately, that process isn’t apparent even after CDFA’s announcement. Regulations are still being developed for the crop and merely registering doesn’t give you the green light to grow. Gonzales said they have signed up their first producer, but there are still a lot of unknowns moving forward. “We needed to have more guidance. The forms to fill out, how to deal with questions that are not addressed yet. We have been meeting with CDFA to try and find all of those details out.” he said. “We just started registering hemp producers. We are telling them that they must go to the Resource Management Agency and get a permit as well because there are other hoops they must jump through before growing hemp.”