Counties, cities stay divided on production

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(Editor’s note: This is component of an occasional series on California’s complicated hemp sector. To study the prior installment, click right here.)

California’s county-by-county regulatory landscape for hemp production is as varied as its actual scenery.

In some of its counties, California is one particular of the final strongholds against hemp production, though in other people, efforts to develop the crop are underway or ordinances have been passed that will quickly enable farmers to move forward.

Anticipated to be a future powerhouse of hemp production simply because of its wealthy soils and temperate climate that makes it possible for for year-round cultivation, California has lagged behind other hemp states as the only one particular to make county-level agriculture commissioners accountable for passing hemp production ordinances in every of its 58 counties.

That is in spite of California’s agriculture division providing growers the extended-awaited go-ahead in April to get licensed for hemp production.

According to a late August update from the California Division of Meals and Agriculture (CDFA), the state presently has 23 counties creating hemp, with 258 growers, 34 seed breeders and 16,899 registered acres.

Hemp Sector Day-to-day examined the status of the rest of the counties and discovered by means of nearby news reports and county agriculture commissioners that:

  • Of the 23 counties with licensed hemp acreage, two nevertheless have county-wide moratoriums in location till 2020 – Shasta County, in which a municipality legalized hemp production inside city limits and San Luis Obispo (SLO), which licensed 16 hemp farmers and nine farmers creating hemp for study ahead of enacting an emergency moratorium that was extended to June 2020. Marc Lea, assistant agricultural commissioner for the county, told Hemp Sector Day-to-day that SLO county supplied path to create a permanent ordinance by early 2020 that would supersede the moratorium and enable for cultivation.
  • Sixteen counties do not have existing bans on hemp production and at least eight of these have passed hemp production ordinances, but production hasn’t but begun. Hemp production in Santa Barbara County is permitted for study only.
  • Seven counties have at least a short-term moratorium in location, which could be extended for up to 22 months and 15 days if the county board of supervisors so decides.
  • Seven counties have banned production till 2020. This incorporates Santa Clara County, which does not presently have a moratorium but has banned hemp production till the federal and state regulations are implemented. The rest of the counties voted to extend their respective hemp moratoriums till spring 2020.
  • 4 counties have place hemp production bans in location till 2021.

Restrictions becoming even additional nearby

Some municipalities are building their personal city guidelines about hemp corporations, in several circumstances going against existing county hemp regulation.

The city of Shasta Lake in Shasta County has licensed hemp farmers inside its city limits, going against the county’s existing moratorium, in location till the finish of March 2020, Shasta County Agriculture Commissioner Rick Gurrola told Hemp Sector Day-to-day.

Pittsburg, a city in Contra Costa County, enacted a two-year moratorium on hemp production in June to give the city time to create regulations simply because the existing city ordinance on cannabis did not address hemp, nor do state cannabis regulations.

In July, the Fortuna City Council in Humboldt County voted to extend a city moratorium for 180 days or till 2020, saying state and federal regulations are nevertheless in flux and simply because hemp is indistinguishable from marijuana. The moratorium will enable time for the city to assessment regulations and adopt its personal policies

The Thousand Oaks City Council in Ventura County voted this week to approve a 45-day, citywide moratorium on hemp corporations to enable time to appear at the possible influence of hemp on nearby corporations.

The moratorium prohibits cultivation, processing, drying, storing and manufacturing hemp, and bans new retailers from exclusively promoting CBD items.

Just before the moratorium was authorized, hemp organization Ventura Seed Co. signed a lease for a 35,000-square-foot creating in a Thousand Oaks enterprise park to course of action its crops into CBD items. But the organization, which has plants prepared for harvesting and processing, mentioned it might have to move to a further city simply because it cannot wait for the moratorium to finish in November.

California law protects hemp … and nearby government

A measure presently on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk to revise California’s provisions regulating hemp cultivation and testing incorporates language that says enacting the legislation would “neither limit nor protect against a city, county or city and county from working out its police energy authority.”

Gurrola told Hemp Sector Day-to-day he interprets that to imply the legislation protects the energy of nearby government “to do what ever they want to do with industrial hemp,” like banning it.

“It’s been determined that cities and counties do have that authority now, by means of actual court circumstances,” Gurrola mentioned. “But the purpose that it is particularly addressed … is to stave off future lawsuits.”

In early September, Newsom signed an amendment to the Williamson Act, clarifying that cannabis and hemp cultivation count as an agricultural commodity or compatible use inside agricultural land conservation contracts.

According to a weblog post by Caroline Gill of Los Angeles-primarily based law firm Manzuri Law, the passage of the amendment will make it additional tricky for nearby governments to outlaw hemp by claiming it is not agricultural commodity, even though the adjust in law “in no way curbs nearby government’s authority and capability to prohibit or regulate industrial cannabis and hemp.”

Laura Drotleff can be reached at [email protected]

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