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Selling Nursery Products

California Department of Food & Agriculture's Plant Health & Pest Prevention Services regulate the sale of nursery products. Their mission is to prevent the introduction and spread of agricultural pests through nursery stock and protect agriculture and the consumer against economic losses resulting from the sale of inferior, defective, or pest-infested nursery stock.

A License to Sell Nursery Stock is required for any person who sells plants for planting, propagation, or ornamentation in California. A license is also required if selling a food still in soil (e.g. micro greens, sprouts). The sale of nursery stock without a valid license is a violation of California Food and Agricultural Code § 6721.

Just Starting Out

If nursery stock is of your own production, sales will amount to less than $1,000 annually AND are only within the county grown, you can file for a fee exempt license:

Selling at Farmers Market

Nursery stock may be sold in either the certified or non-certified section of the market with a few exceptions. 

  • Certified:
    Must obtain a Certified Producer Certificate 
    Allowed: all items on your CPC.
    Not allowed: fancy pots (considered value add) and other value add products.
  • Non-Certified: 
    Allowed - value add (i.e. fancy pots, other items such as jewelry, hand made signs, etc), eggs (with Egg Handlers Registration) and mushrooms.
    Not allowed - cut flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables or nuts.
  • Things to consider:
    Know the market. In general, in smaller markets it won't matter as much as in big markets. In big markets, customers know where to go to get nursery stock and may miss you if you are not in the certified section.
    Talk to the market manager about costs and space available for you and their recommendations.

Getting Started in Business

There are many additional requirements for business operations. To get started, visit: