Hemp will continue to be illegal to grow commercially in San Luis Obispo County after county supervisors voted 4-1 on July 16 to extend a temporary moratorium on the crop.
First passed by the Board of Supervisors in June after SLO County started accepting hemp applications in May, the moratorium is intended to buy the county time to develop hemp regulations addressing setbacks, zoning, and community capability.
- Photo Courtesy Of Petr Broz
- STILL BANNED County supervisors extended a hemp moratorium on July 16 for up to one year as they craft regulations for the crop.
The county initially drafted the urgency ordinance after concerns arose from residents, businesses, and wineries in rural communities, like Edna Valley, about the crop.
"To me, bad governance is making a decision and not looking at all the ramifications of it and how it's going to affect the entire community," 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton said before voting in favor of the policy.
The moratorium lasts one year—but supervisors are pushing county officials to complete work on permanent regulations by early 2020 to avoid wiping out another growing season. The county will assemble an advisory group of industry and community members to workshop the elements of an ordinance.
"Move as fast as possible," 1st District Supervisor John Peschong told county administrators.
Second District Supervisor Bruce Gibson was the lone dissent against the policy; he said he supported work on long-term hemp rules but opposed the interim ban.
"I thought the institute of this urgency ordinance was a bad idea, and I think the extension is also a bad idea," Gibson said.