US (CA): Humboldt County supervisors extend industrial hemp ban in coastal zone

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance Tuesday to extend a temporary moratorium on industrial hemp cultivation in the coastal zone for another six months as the county awaits feedback from the California Coastal Commission.

Back in February, the board unanimously passed a permanent ban on industrial hemp cultivation, replacing the temporary moratorium that was set to expire May 10. Though the ban was “permanent,” the ordinance was passed with the intention to be amended at a future date to allow non-commercial hemp cultivation for research purposes.

The College of the Redwoods expressed interest in the limited cultivation of industrial hemp for educational and research purposes at its Tompkins Hill Road campus in October 2020. Humboldt County Planning Commission staff then drafted inland and coastal industrial hemp ordinances that continued the existing moratorium in unincorporated areas of the county with an exception for CR through a special permit process.

During a May 18 supervisors meeting, the board adopted a 45-day temporary moratorium on the cultivation of industrial hemp by “Established Agricultural Research Institutions” and any growers of industrial hemp in the coastal zone, according to the staff report. Because the coastal zone boundary bisects the CR campus, the coastal ordinance was passed on to the Coastal Commission for review.


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