Humboldt County Bans Hemp Cultivation

Humboldt County has become the latest jurisdiction to turn a moratorium on hemp into a permanent ban. The Board of Supervisors was unanimous in its decision to prohibit outdoor cultivation of the plant last week. The reason? To protect marijuana farming.

Cannabis farmers in Humboldt, as in many other regions, worry about cross-pollination when there are hemp fields nearby. Male pollen from hemp can spread to marijuana crops and depress cannabinoid levels, farmers say. Those fears led to a moratorium on outdoor hemp cultivation in 2018. That moratorium was extended last year. Nevada County also recently made its moratorium permanent. Nevada, too, was flooded with calls from worried marijuana farmers.

Humboldt’s hemp ban could still be amended. There is pressure to at least allow hemp research by colleges and universities.