San Andreas, CA — With board members pointing out that it is a temporary moratorium, as opposed to a ban, Calaveras County is putting the brakes on hemp farming over the short term.
The issue came up after the 2018 US Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp, as previously it was outlawed, and lumped in with cannabis cultivation. Calaveras Ag Commissioner Kevin Wright urged the board of supervisors to pass a moratorium, at least until an ordinance is adopted related to local hemp cultivation. Things need to be determined related to zoning, buffer zones, and limiting the impacts of odor to neighbors. It was noted that this matter is completely separate from the commercial cannabis cultivation ban in place in Calaveras County. The board has stated a plan to reassess that issue (cannabis ban) later this year.
There was uncertainty about whether a hemp moratorium would pass. At the end of the board’s discussion, Supervisor Merita Callaway stated, “I didn’t go into this meeting wanting to support it (moratorium), but I think there are some red flags there that we need to deal with. This is not a ban, this is just a moratorium. I’m hoping that we’ll have a new cannabis ordinance this year, and I’m hoping that we’ll have a hemp (ordinance) this year.”
The vote to approve the industrial hemp moratorium was 5-0.