BoS Decides To Issue Moratoriums On GMOs & Hemp

Feb 6, 2019

February 6, 2019 —  The Board of Supervisors agreed yesterday on two marijuana-related moratoriums: one regarding hemp, and the other addressing the concern that new genetic modification techniques could make their way into the county’s cannabis industry.

The actions were slightly different, in that supervisors simply gave direction to staff to develop the moratorium on hemp, without much discussion on future actions. But the unanimous vote on the non-GMO moratorium also served as something of an update to Measure H, the 2004 voter initiative to ban GMOs in the county.

Recently CordovaCann, a large Canadian cannabis company, started making noises about setting up shop in Covelo. The company claims to have the ability to edit the cannabis genome using CRISPR technology, which did not exist when Mendocino became the first jurisdiction in the country to ban GMOs.

The board can’t tinker with a voter-approved initiative, so a whole new ordinance will have to be crafted, which takes a certain amount of time. Meanwhile, the moratorium will serve as a placeholder, as staff develops an ordinance to prohibit the cultivation, processing and manufacture of all products, including cannabis, from using a wide range of genetic engineering techniques.

We’ll also hear about looming deadlines, a possible gap in state licenses, and a quick update on the current county cannabis numbers.