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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.

NOTE: To sell seeds: obtain an Authorization to Sell Seed from CA Dept of Food & Agriculture through their Seed Service Program. The annual fee is $40 + .30 cents per $100 in gross sales of the seeds.

Just Starting Out

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

  • Fee Exempt License to Sell Nursery Stock (pdf)
  • File the Fee Exempt license (only) and send or bring it to:
    Sonoma County Dept of Agriculture-Weights & Measures
    133 Avaiation Blvd, Suite 110
    Santa Rosa CA 95403

Note: if you will be selling outside of the county, you will need to complete a Nursery License Application (no fee exemption).

Selling at Farmers Market

Nursery stock and seeds 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 (must be sold in the non-certified section).
  • Non-Certified: 
    Allowed: with or without fancy pots.
    Not allowed: cut flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables or nuts (must be sold in certified section).
  • 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: