MARTINEZ (BCN/CBS SF) – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday lifted its moratorium on industrial hemp cultivation and created an ordinance that establishes a allowing course of and cultivation requirements. The county’s ban on the sale and supply of digital smoking units and hashish e-liquids will stay in place.
The brand new hemp ordinance says permits could solely be issued for cultivation in an agricultural zoning district positioned throughout the boundaries of the East Contra Costa Irrigation District, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, or the East Contra Costa Groundwater Subbasin, the place water ranges are secure.
The ordinance may even set up varied necessities and requirements for indoor and outside cultivation. Land use permits can be good for 5 years and will be renewed if the allow holder complies with laws and applies whereas the allow continues to be in impact. The renewed allow would final till it’s revoked.
Supervisors rejected arguments from East County residents that hemp cultivation takes extra water than different crops on the identical land and ends in extra crime. With the moratorium set to run out Sept. 30, supervisors acknowledged the necessity for county regulation.
The ordinance received’t permit cultivation inside, or inside one mile, of county city restrict strains. The minimal lot dimension for outside cultivation could be 5 acres. Indoor services should adjust to guidelines relating to different constructions. Different circumstances of approval will embrace safety plans, shielded lighting, and odor management.
The moratorium was established in November 2020 after folks residing close to a handful of East Contra Costa industrial develop websites complained about odor, lights, and different elements. Supervisors prolonged the ban twice.
Rising hemp commercially has been authorized in Contra Costa County since 2018, when the primary 5 growers had been permitted. Hemp has many industrial makes use of, together with meals, clothes, medication, and constructing supplies. Neighbors have stated they weren’t warned hemp growers had been coming to the realm and that growers had been violating allowing circumstances.
In a 4-1 vote, the supervisors left in place a ban on vaping and hashish oil gross sales, with District 4 supervisor Karen Mitchoff voting no.
Supervisors enacted the ban in 2019, concentrating on flavored vapes that appealed to kids and vaping merchandise that haven’t been reviewed by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. The ban solely applies in unincorporated areas.
In Might, the board requested county well being officers to come back again with data on what’s modified for the reason that ban, together with up to date security data on new merchandise and up to date state and federal laws. The solutions weren’t sufficient to vary the board’s collective thoughts.
District 5 supervisor Federal Glover stated the vote sends a message to younger folks “that we’re paying consideration.”
“It’s simply too early to make selections based mostly on the unknown and that there’s nonetheless a possibility for analysis to be carried out what’s happening on the state and nationwide stage,” Glover stated.
Workers really useful preserving the ban in place, although they laid out different choices, together with crafting a brand new ordinance with various ranges of restrictions. One choice could be to permit vaping units for medical use, for which the present ordinance doesn’t permit.
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