Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (2023)

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (1)

If there's one question many California smokers have in common, it might be: "It is illegal to grow tobacco in California🇧🇷 This is because the price of a pack of cigarettes can represent a significant part of your salary, depending on your smoking habit. Yes, it can be an expensive habit to get into, but for many of these smokers, price isn't the only consideration on their mind when asking this question. Another thing to consider is the flavor of the tobacco itself.

Non-smokers might find this incredibly strange. To them, tobacco must taste like tobacco, just like chocolate tastes like chocolate. However, this is not the case. Grown on large-scale commercial farms in the United States, quantity almost always trumps quality—business is business, after all. With the ever-increasing market demands, growing more and more tobacco and converting it into cigarettes will bring more profit. Not to mention that today's cigarettes are packed to the brim with myriad juices, additives and preservatives to enhance their flavor and extend their shelf life. The longer a product lasts, the more profit these companies make at the end of the day.

Despite the extremely strict smoking bans, the proportion of cigar and cigarette smokers has not fallen by an iota. Numerous studies have found that states such as Kentucky and West Virginia top the stats with 30.2% and 29.9% of their residents admitting to smoking, while surprisingly California and Utah only have 15% and 12.2%, respectively. No wonder companies advocate tough tobacco trade laws; having a monopoly means they can aim for higher profits. This results in a sky high price per box and makes you wonder if there is a way to do this yourself.

Maybe you're a long-time smoker of a particular product and are annoyed that cigarettes don't taste the same from pack to pack, or maybe you're someone who enjoys smoking but can't buy pack after pack every once in a while, for whatever reason always. If you're wondering if it's illegal for any California resident to grow their own tobacco plants and bring them here, you can breathe a sigh of relief because this article was written exclusively for you.

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (2)

Understanding the rules of growing tobacco plants

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (3)In the United States, marketable tobacco is grown exclusively on large commercial farms owned by a few corporations. Not only do these companies have the necessary license to grow tobacco crops for business, they also have the necessary license to market or market their tobacco. Unlike many other countries in the world, tobacco in the United States is one of the few companies that is heavily regulated. It's non-negotiable to understand the rules surrounding tobacco plants before making the decision to try any of those do-it-yourself cigarette items you've found on the internet. After all, none of us want to be inadvertently faced with legal hassles when it comes to replacing that pack of cigarettes.

(Video) HOW TO GROW TOBACCO PART 1: Selecting the right seeds

All of this may sound more complicated and serious than you thought. But before you step back and reconsider giving up the expensive commercially manufactured and sold cigarettes, read on. Here's the thing: While the marketing and sale of tobacco is heavily regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, growing your own tobacco plants just for personal use isn't really a no-no.

Does it sound too good to be true? Not really if you understand the federal regulations pertaining to that particular crop. This is largely because neither the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms nor the US Food and Drug Administration restrict homeowners from growing their own tobacco. As of 2005, the ordinance only states that as long as the owner does not trade or sell his harvest, he has the power to act. Finally, the Regulation also does not mention anything about quantity restrictions. That being said, homeowners can grow any type of tobacco and the amount they want.

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (4)

Understanding of local laws and possible restrictions

Perhaps the most dreaded part of any discussion is when you start with "but wait, there's more!" In that case, we hate to burst your bubble, but before you head out the door to buy whatever style of tobacco springs to mind, we need to wrap up the topic above with a cold hard fact. And that said, while neither of those two places above prevents homeowners from growing their own crop, many states and localities have their own regulations that may or may not limit your ability to grow and produce your own tobacco.

It might piss you off to the end, but it is what it is. Some local laws actually regulate both agricultural and horticultural activities. Even those of you who live in a certain neighborhood may be subject to strict regulations from the Homeowners Association. It is highly recommended to check all city and neighborhood ordinances regarding gardening and farming activities before deciding to grow tobacco plants. In some cities, it can be even more difficult for a landowner to obtain a permit to grow tobacco, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.

However, if you live in California, you can rejoice that when it comes to legal questions, the answer is definitely the latter. Yes, it's really cool to grow your own crop at home! It doesn't matter if you only have a small vegetable garden in your house, you can turn it into a vegetable garden to grow your own tobacco.

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (5)

(Video) Ban on flavored tobacco in California begins Wednesday

What types of tobacco seeds are suitable for the California climate?

Now that you're armed with the knowledge of the legal side of things, it's time to prepare for the upcoming labor and delivery. The word "work" might not be an appropriate choice given that growing tobacco plants is ridiculously easy - even more so if you're from California. The fact that you live in California is also one of the best things that can happen to you as a home grown tobacco grower. The world's finest tobacco is usually grown as an annual and grown in a warm climate with fertile and incredibly well-draining soil. California, with its distinctive soil and warmer climate, has numerous advantages here, so why not try a DIY cigarette tutorial?

Most people don't realize how irresistibly easy it is to grow your own tobacco and turn it into an amazingly cheap, zero-waste cigarette and cigar. But now that you're here, there's no need to worry because we'll be covering all of those aspects as well. First, let's look at some types of tobacco seeds that are suited to California soil and climate.

· Kentucky-Burley

This is a popular choice for its fine, dark leaves, as well as the fact that it cures well and gives a large yield as well. In addition, Kentucky Burley can also be used as chewing tobacco and made into a great cigar wrapper.

Louisiana Perique

This extremely rare and famous tobacco was first cultivated by the Indians. As one of the strongest tobaccos, Louisiana Perique is typically fermented and then blended with today's milder tobaccos.

(Video) Supreme Court upholds California ban on flavored tobacco products

· Tennessee-Burley

Another Burley that's at least as popular as its Kentucky counterpart. This Burley variety is also a very high yielder, although it is of much better quality and contains more nicotine - which is why it is widely preferred as a cigarette. In addition, this plant is incredibly easy to grow and vigorous.

Orinoco (also known as Dark Virginia)

Dark Virginia comes with ruffled leaves that have an incredibly thick texture. This tobacco has a characteristic rich, dark tobacco flavor that is preferred by many pipe smokers around the world. This tobacco is not only used by pipe smokers, but also as a tobacco blend for cigarettes and cigars.

In addition to the tobaccos already mentioned, Yellow Twist Bud, Florida Sumatra, Havana #608 and #501 and #503B, Connecticut Broadleaf, N. Shirazi and Virginia Gold would also be excellent choices. However, it's worth noting that Yellow Twist Bud and Connecticut Broadleaf grow well when well shaded. Otherwise, they usually don't have a problem with being left in the sun. Understanding the characteristics of each of your seeds is a must, but don't feel obligated to try them. Give it a try again, who knows, maybe they'll do just fine in your soil.

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (6)

Important things to know about growing tobacco in California

Whatever your position on the smoking spectrum, tobacco-related activities such as smoking cigarettes and cigars, chewing and smoking a pipe will get you nowhere. Many non-smokers are wary of secondhand smoke, while smokers are wary of the extensive additives and preservatives used in mass-produced tobacco products. Smoking has always been associated with various diseases such as cancer, however, the number of people suffering from cancer is steadily increasing, although numerous studies show that the number of smokers is decreasing. What gives?

(Video) CA Prop 31 explained | Ban on flavored tobacco in California

While we would likely never know the answer to this anomaly, avoiding additives and preservatives and opting for raw organic tobacco should always be at the top of every smoker's to-do list. The best way to do this is undoubtedly to grow your own tobacco plants in your garden. Plus, who wouldn't love to save some money by doing this? Smokers should spend at least $2 on a pack of cigarettes that will run out in a day or two if we don't have time to smoke. If you grow it yourself, the price drops to around 1 cent per cigarette, since typically 100 to 200 cigarettes can be produced from a tobacco plant.

Some people would try to convince you that the hassle involved in growing tobacco plants at home is not worth it because while the cultivation is usually easy, the curing part is difficult. For starters, that kind of statement sounds intimidating. If you are one of those people, you have nothing to worry about. With the right know-how, healing does not have to be difficult.

Curing tobacco is basically drying the tobacco leaf. This process does not involve sweating or fermentation. There are two methods to do this, the first method is air cure while the other method is sun cure. The most common method is the air cure method; this particular method is also an excellent choice for the following tobaccos:

· Varieties of Burley

· Variety of Maryland

· Virginia varieties and more.

Some varieties, such as B. Virginia, can also be sun cured as heat is required during the process. However, when owners choose to use the air-cure method, it is usually because they want to eliminate some of the tobacco's nicotine content so it is not as strong. With air curing, the whole process can take about two months as the tobacco leaves are hung outdoors. In the solar curing method, the leaves are placed on a flat surface and exposed to the sun to properly remove some of the moisture content before being collected and hung outside to complete the whole process.

(Video) California votes to ban flavored tobacco products

The last method produces a unique end result. For example, the best-known sun-dried tobacco in the world is Turkish oriental tobacco. However, in this tobacco variety, fermentation or sweating completes it, unlike the common practice of hanging the leaves outdoors.

Is it illegal to grow tobacco in California and how to do it? (7)


Can you legally grow tobacco in California? ›

The production of all tobacco products in the US is governed by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Neither of these governing bodies forbids homeowners from growing their own tobacco to be used for personal use making it legal.

Is tobacco banned in California? ›

On November 8, 2022, California voters upheld the state law, Senate Bill (SB) 793 (Chapter 34, Statutes of 2020), prohibiting tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products.

Who regulates tobacco in California? ›

The California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act, Division 8.6 (commencing with section 22970) of the Business and Professions Code, requires cigarette and tobacco product manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers to be licensed by the Board of Equalization and provides conditions ...

What do you need to sell tobacco in California? ›

Retailers of cigarettes and tobacco products in California (as defined in section 22971(p) of the Business and Professions Code) must have a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer's License.

Can you just grow tobacco? ›

Tobacco is usually grown in home gardens so gardeners can harvest the plant and know it has no additives. The efforts of growing tobacco began hundreds of years ago, but its popularity has decreased over the years due to health concerns. Tobacco also is grown personally for its ornamental appearance.

Can I grow my own smoking tobacco? ›

Consider these points: Growing and curing tobacco for personal use is legal. Tobacco products are one of the most heavily regulated and taxed in the United States. A single tobacco plant can yield enough leaf to produce "as many as 100" cigarettes! Tobacco keeps extremely well for years.

Can you smoke in jail in California? ›

California inmates and their guards will no longer be able to light up starting Friday when a law takes effect that bans smoking in the nation's largest prison system. The California Legislature last year approved legislation that bars tobacco products from state prisons.

Can you sue your neighbor for smoking in California? ›

nuisance, and trespass. At least two courts in California have been open to claims brought against a neighbor for harms caused by drifting tobacco smoke.

Can you still vape in California? ›

Additionally, California has banned the following products, regardless if they contain nicotine: Electronic cigarettes or vape devices that contained or are sold a flavored liquid or element. Flavored "eliquids", "ejuices" or pods.

Can I smoke in my backyard in California? ›

The short answer is no, it is not illegal to smoke on private property. However, if the smoke is causing a disturbance to your neighbors, it could fall under city or county nuisance laws.

Can you smoke cigarettes in your house in California? ›

California Laws and Regulations Prohibiting Smoking:

This bill prohibits smoking in indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars. This legislation prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces. This bill prohibits smoking in day care facilities, including private residences.

Do you need a tobacco license in California? ›

A valid cigarette and tobacco retailer's license is required before you begin making sales of cigarettes and tobacco products in California. "Retailer" means a person who sells cigarettes or tobacco products directly to the public from a California retail location, including vending machines.

How do I start a small tobacco business? ›

Beyond investing in a best-in-class point of sale system from outset, follow these seven simple steps to opening a new tobacco shop.
  1. Write Your Business Plan. ...
  2. Create a Budget and Financial Plan. ...
  3. Apply for Necessary Licensing and Permits. ...
  4. Make Sure You Understand Tobacco Product Taxes. ...
  5. Register Your Business.
Jun 10, 2021

How much is a ticket for selling tobacco to a minor in California? ›

Penalty: Civil penalty of $200 for 1st violation, $500 for 2nd violation, and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

Can you sell tobacco in California? ›

Yes. The cigarette and tobacco products licensing requirement is in addition to other permits and licenses issued by the CDTFA. You must apply for and maintain a California seller's permit to be issued a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer's License and to renew the license each year.

How do I become a legal grower in California? ›

Obtain a land use permit and business license from the local government; Obtain building permits and build out the cultivation space; Obtain environmental permits or waivers; and finally. Obtain a license to operate from the state.

What states can you grow tobacco? ›

Leading tobacco producing U.S. states from 2017 to 2021 (in 1,000 pounds)
North Carolina360,040234,700
South Carolina25,20015,770
3 more rows
Jan 17, 2022

Can you grow your own tobacco for cigars? ›

Cigar tobacco grows quickly. In just about 60 days, most seedlings will have grown enough to be planted. After planting, another 60 or so days will pass before the plants mature.

How many pounds of tobacco can you get per acre? ›

1,800 pounds per acre averaged in 2020. 1 2020 Revised. 2 Planted for all purposes. 3 Production in 480-lb.


1. Law enforcement concerned about potential flavored tobacco ban
2. California’s 2022 props explained: Prop 31 - uphold flavored tobacco ban #shorts #election2022
3. Flavored vape and menthol cigarettes banned in California
(CBS 8 San Diego)
4. Prop 31 would uphold ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products
(KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)
5. California Cannabis Businesses Fear State's Legal Industry Could Collapse
(NBC News)
6. Tobacco Sales in California – What Retailers Should Know About Licensing


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