September 11, 2019 — The Board of Supervisors took the first step toward crafting an ordinance to regulate industrial hemp at its September 10 meeting. A county moratorium on growing hemp is set to expire in February of 2020. As of January of this year, hemp is no longer a Schedule l federally controlled substance. On the state level, temporary regulations pertaining to industrial hemp sampling and testing for THC went into effect in June.
Cannabis advocacy groups and the Farm Bureau submitted letters to the board expressing measured support for the newly legal practice of growing hemp, though both interests were concerend about the possibility of other crops being contaminated. Even if the stock were limited to feminized seeds and female plants, every pot farmer knows that plants in the Cannabaceae family can turn hermaphrodite with very little notice, thus spreading pollen that could compromise the integrity of heritage cannabis genetics. And George Hollister, the president of the Farm Bureau, signed a letter encouraging the county to look into concerns about hemp or cannabis creating flavor taint in wine grapes. But some wine grape growers see an opportunity.
We’ll hear from the Farm Bureau and cannabis advocates about their plans to work together to bring hemp farming into the local agricultural matrix.