Shasta Supervisors Weigh the Benefits of Hemp

Shasta County supervisors have voted to extend a moratorium on industrial hemp while they hash out regulations governing the product. They also want to speed up the process of getting hemp ok’d, calling for the development of new hemp rules within 6 weeks rather than the proposed 22 months.

Shasta supervisors heard from a number of speakers Tuesday about the economic promise that commercial hemp holds. Agricultural Commissioner Paul Kjos and staff will now work overtime to have rules drafted by June.

Two of the main concerns involve odor and the use of hemp as a ruse to grow marijuana. Hemp contains just 0.3% THC, meaning it can’t be used to get high. But from appearance, it’s virtually indistinguishable from cannabis which cannot be grown commercially in unincorporated Shasta County. Kjos said state and county regulations requiring testing of hemp could solve this problem.

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