Imperial County Goes All In for Industrial Hemp

It’s ‘all aboard the industrial hemp train’ for Imperial County.

Last week, officials signed a memorandum of understanding with the California Hemp Foundation and California Hemp Association — the first such MOU in the state — expressing support for industrial hemp production. The Board of Supervisors then approved a preliminary partnership with Imperial Valley College for hemp research. 

The industrial hemp industry is expected to explode after the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill removed the crop from the list of federally controlled substances. Farmers in Imperial County are hoping to cash in and county leaders are eyeing the revenue.

"You've got great climate, you can probably grow at least two crops, where other states and counties are only growing one crop per year," Wayne Richman, founder of The California Hemp Association, told local news station KYMA.

Imperial County isn’t wasting any time. KYMA reports that hemp production has already begun on about 600 acres of property in the Imperial Valley.