Mendocino Supervisors Approve Hemp Program

Mendocino County supervisors approved a 2-year pilot program for industrial hemp last week. The vote was 3-2, with John Haschak and Ted Williams voting no.

Marijuana farmers had expressed concerns about cross-pollination. As the Ukiah Daily Journal reports, provisions were baked into the ordinance to assuage pot farmers. 

In an attempt to alleviate fears of pot farmers that male pollen would travel from hemp cultivation sites to cannabis cultivation sites, where it would cross-pollinate with female cannabis plants, Ag Commissioner Jim Donnelly said the Ordinance would mandate the implementation of the strictest best management practices, including:

• Pollen from male hemp plants is prohibited pursuant to the ordinance.

• Cultivators should conduct regular inspections of the planting to ensure no male Industrial Hemp plants are growing outdoors. If a male hemp plant is found, the cultivator must remove the male plant from the planting area and destroy it so that no male plant material is present in the growing area.

• After hemp plants pass five to six weeks of growth and flowering has initiated, Mendocino County Agricultural Inspectors shall inspect the plantings weekly for presence of male plants.

The Department of Agriculture will develop an inspection protocol to examine the cultivation and detect male industrial hemp plants.