What You Need To Start Growing Hemp in California

Anyone can start a cannabis farm in California with the proper paperwork and tools. If you’re considering growing hemp in California, our guide will tell you what you need to get started!


Before you can gather your equipment and hemp seeds, you’ll need to complete some paperwork to become a legal cannabis-growing business. To grow industrial hemp in California, you’ll first have to submit a country registration application to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which you can find online.

The CDFA application requires basic information, costs $900 to file, and is only valid for one year. Also, some California counties no longer accept hemp applications, so check your local county before applying. There are two options for the application—hemp seed breeder and hemp cultivator, but most applicants fall under cultivator.


Once your application gets approved, you can start building the groundwork and infrastructure for your industrial hemp-growing operation! If you’re growing indoors—which most do since it’s more consistent and reliable—there are many things you’ll need, such as:

  • Grow lights
  • Reliable HVAC for temperature control
  • Humidifier and dehumidifier for humidity control
  • Fans and ventilation for airflow
  • Pots

You should also consider investing in a high-quality thermometer and hygrometer to better monitor your plants’ temperature and humidity, as it’s crucial in their growth.

Harvesting Equipment

That may seem like a lot, but that’s just the essential infrastructure for growing plants—you’ll also need equipment for harvest time. There are many things to consider when buying harvesting equipment, like how many plants you’re cultivating, how many employees you have for harvesting, and whether you’re wet trimming or dry trimming.

The best long-term value is in automated equipment for hemp harvesting like:

  • Electric hand trimmers
  • Bud buckers
  • Wander trimmers
  • Bud sorters
  • Satellite bud trimmers

While this equipment may be expensive at first, they improve the consistency, efficiency, and quality of cannabis harvesting over seasonal workers and trimming by hand. Automated harvesting equipment is the way to go if you’re looking for long-term value over short-term savings.


Now you know what you need to start growing hemp in California. Make sure you get all your paperwork in and consider going for long-term value over saving a few bucks on the infrastructure and equipment.

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Written by Kevin George

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