For years, California has been a very bad state for the hemp industry. That started to change last year with the passage of AB-45, a bill intended to regulate CBD manufacturing and sales. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued proposed AB-45 regulations just a few months ago. And now it looks like California is finally open for hemp registrations.
On July 5, 2022, CDPH’s Food and Drug Branch (FDB) sent an industry stakeholder listserv email about the newly minted hemp registration program. The email says, in part:
The California Department of Public Health – Food and Drug Branch (FDB) has published the applications necessary for the administration of the Industrial Hemp Enrollment and Oversight (IHEO) authorization. The applications may be viewed and downloaded from our IHEO website. If you intend to manufacture, pack, hold, or distribute applicable industrial hemp products, you must apply for an IHEO Authorization issued by FDB. To get started please visit the web page and click on: “What form/application do I need?”
FDB’s above-linked website contains all the forms needed to apply for the IHEO (which I’ll just refer to for ease as the “hemp registrations”). FDB requires different hemp registrations for:
- Extract manufacturers – with different forms for Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties
- Human food manufacturers – with different forms for Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties
- Processed pet food manufacturers
- Cosmetics manufacturers
- Human food manufacturers with cannery license
- Industrial hemp inhalable authorization – these are ONLY available for out-of-state sales in line with AB-45’s restrictions on smokable hemp
Each above the above categories of hemp registrants requires two different forms, with the sole exception of industrial hemp inhalables. These forms look complicated and will no doubt pose a challenge for small business owners who do not have substantial experience dealing with a highly regulated industry. Here’s one of the pet food hemp registration forms, for example. That said, the hemp registration forms are nowhere near as complex as some state cannabis licensing can be.
California’s regulated hemp program is just kicking off. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sure to blog on this much more frequently. So stay tuned to the Canna Law Blog.