California Municipalities Rush to Adopt Hemp Regulations

Over the last couple of weeks, counties and cities in California have adopted hemp cultivation bans in order to address perceived public nuisance issues from the activity including odor problems and public safety concerns. Counties and cities are also struggling with how to prevent cross-pollination between hemp and cannabis crops.

Trinity, Humboldt, and San Louis Bopispo counties all voted to ban the cultivation of hemp until they are able to address these public nuisance concerns. Other counties such as King, Imperial and Lassen voted to permit hemp cultivation but under limited circumstances. Monterey County will meet to discuss a limited program to allow hemp cultivation and processing on June 10, 2019.

California cities are also adopting measures to prohibit hemp cultivation as Redding, Pittsburg, and San Jacinto are meeting to adopt ordinances in the upcoming weeks. We expect the number of cities that will be addressing this issue to increase as the state registration process continues.

Local regulation of hemp cultivation is not limited to California. New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado counties are also implementing regulations to govern the cultivation and processing of hemp. The hemp regulatory structure is complicated and starting to resemble that of cannabis. The rollout of the state hemp cultivation plans should provide a good indicator of how complicated the state hemp regulatory environment will eventually become. This complex development is another hurdle for the hemp and CBD market to overcome.