Some of our readers forwarded this to us. It sounds very controversial and important
(This is from an alert by Humboldt County Growers Alliance)
People need to attend tomorrow’s board of Supervisors hearing related to hemp. Dozens of people are currently lined up at the Ag Commissioner’s office to sign up for unregulated hemp production as I type. From the best I can tell the fish don’t know the difference between thc and cbd cannabis. If the county is going to allow cbd hemp it needs to allow such after going through a robust public process with all stakeholders at the table (environment/DFW/tribes/neighbors).
There is a populist uprising occurring and the unregulated folks think this is the best way to make money after being “left behind” by regulations. I ask you for your perspective on this important issue tomorrow.
Hemp is functionally one of the most complicated issues we’ve seen coming from the policy world. The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed the prohibition on hemp production nationwide. States and jurisdictions around the country are struggling to understand what is legal and what is not. There is no federal, state or local regulatory system for industrial hemp. In theory, industrial hemp can be transported across state lines; however, states e.g. Oklahoma and Idaho are seizing hemp transports and charging transporters with felonies.
The proverbial “Pandora’s Box” has been opened, and once again, gray area has been opened and is ripe for exploitation.
According to existing state and federal law, all hemp varietals that contain less than 0.3% THC are considered “industrial hemp,” regardless of how they are cultivated.
However, while state law distinguishes only between high-THC “cannabis” and low-THC “hemp,” the agricultural reality of hemp cultivation requires a distinction to be made between hemp produced for CBD content and pollinating hemp produced for seed or fiber. We distinguish these categories as follows:
Cannabis – contemplated under the current CCLUO and MAUCRSA, state law essentially defines cannabis as the cannabis plant and its by-products that contain more than 0.3% THC
CBD-hemp – all hemp, including CBD-hemp, is defined under state law as containing less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD-hemp in practice is produced in a manner very similar to high-THC cannabis. CBD-hemp is grown for its flower, is not densely planted, and is grown with care.
Pollinating hemp – referred to as “industrial hemp,” we use pollinating hemp to refer to forms of hemp cultivation that require or traditionally utilize male plants. Typically, pollinating hemp is grown for its seed (often for human consumption in food products) or its fiber. When grown for seed, pollinating hemp requires male plants in order for reproduction to occur. As a practical matter, the cultivation of pollinating hemp does not resemble the cultivation of CBD-hemp or cannabis. Pollinating hemp varieties are densely planted, in huge fields, using tractor tilling, not feminized, and low in cannabinoid content.
CBD Hemp cultivation and Cannabis cultivation look and smell the same. The plants look and smell the same.
On May 14, at the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Honsal testified that law enforcement has difficultly telling the difference between CBD Hemp flowers (and plants) and cannabis flower (and plants). The only way to tell the difference between the two plants is with chemical testing.
After nearly 20 years of “gray area” as a result of Prop. 215, finally in California we have clarity on what is and is not legal for cannabis/marijuana. There are environmental laws in place to protect water and wildlife, state regulations, and local land-use regulations for cannabis; none of that exists for hemp production at a local, state or federal level.