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Humboldt County permanently bans hemp cultivation

Legendary California marijuana-growing region Humboldt permanently bans hemp cultivation

By Hemp Industry Daily staff

A renowned marijuana-growing county in northern California’s Emerald Triangle, Humboldt County, has permanently banned outdoor cultivation of low-THC hemp varieties.

The unanimous vote by the county Board of Supervisors last week comes after marijuana interests in the area argued that hemp could send male pollen onto higher-THC varieties and depress cannabinoid levels, the (Eureka) Times-Standard reported.

Humboldt County has had a temporary moratorium on outdoor hemp cultivation since 2018.

Ross Gordon, policy director for the Humboldt County Grower’s Alliance, told the county board of supervisors that the county’s hemp moratorium should be made permanent because of the “many risks that industrial hemp poses to the cannabis industry here.”

(California defines cannabis as only Cannabis sativa plants above 0.3% THC, excluding all low-THC varieties of the plant.)

Many California counties ban or limit hemp cultivation in order to reduce cross-pollination conflicts between marijuana and hemp growers. Humboldt is the first to make its ban permanent.

The vote sparked immediate dismay from the state’s hemp operators.

Humboldt County’s ban may be amended to allow noncommercial hemp research by colleges and universities, the county planner told the board of supervisors.

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