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.
It was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It has been grown and used all over the world. The first president of the United States of America even grew it as a cash crop.
Is it cotton? No—it’s hemp.
Hemp was a major cash crop in the Eastern United States until 1937, when it was outlawed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Since then, hemp has been illegal to grow and sell until almost a year ago, when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing hemp by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Late last month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a program that would allow farmers to grow hemp under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. This is big news for the hemp industry.
Our water, air, and land are being polluted more than ever by textile manufacturing byproducts and plastic microparticles. With its resurgence as a cash crop and ability to integrate into regenerative farming practices, hemp might be the answer to our problems.
According to the EPA, over 260 million tons of waste is produced each year; most of this waste ends up in landfills and most of it is non-biodegradable. In addition to its application in farming systems shown in our Industrial Hemp Trial, hemp products can be used as environmentally-friendly alternatives for everyday items that end up in the trash. Here are five.