newest hemp cash crop draws criticism
newest hemp cash crop draws criticism
Acorn file photo

By Christina Cox, [email protected] Thousand Oaks Acorn November 14, 2019

Homeowners in Moorpark’s Serenata neighborhood are used to looking out of their backyards and seeing onions, celery and strawberries growing in the fields below.

Many residents enjoy watching the agriculture change through the seasons, and others like the feeling of living in a rural part of town.

But their affinity for the nearby farms isn’t what it used to be since a new type of crop started popping up in the fields below their hillside homes.

The culprit? Industrial hemp.

This summer, farms along Tierra Rejada Road within unincorporated areas of Ventura County were among 70 growers harvesting about 3,600 acres of hemp plants in the county, Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams said.

Currently, the county has no restrictions on where hemp can be grown within its agricultural zones. That’s because the 2018 federal Farm Bill separated hemp from marijuana and defined hemp as an agricultural commodity, no different than avocados or chili peppers.

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