Critics Call SLO’s New Hemp Rules a De Facto Ban
Last week, San Luis Obispo County Supervisors passed an ordinance regulating industrial hemp cultivation. But the rules and regulations are far stricter than most had expected and contrary to the recommendations of the County Planning Commission.
“The rules—first put forth by 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold during the May 5 board meeting—require outdoor hemp farmers to find at least a 400-acre-sized parcel, where the crop must be set back 2,000 feet from property lines and be located at least a mile from any community's urban reserve line,” explains New Times San Luis Obispo. They also prohibit growing in the Edna Valley wine region.
Much of the inflexibility appears to be an attempt to protect the county’s vineyards and winemakers. But critics call it de facto prohibition on hemp.
“This was a heavy-handed move," Brent Burchett, Executive Director of the SLO County Farm Bureau, told New Times. "Now, [hemp] is effectively banned. It's devastating for small farmers."