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Growing industrial hemp in Moorpark looks to soon be permanently banned. The City Council Wednesday night unanimously introduced an ordinance to do so.
The West Coast wildfires may finally be slackening a bit thanks to kinder winds, merciful rain, and the heroic efforts of firefighters from Canada to Mexico, but the fight is far from over for cannabis growers whose crops went up in smoke.
Members of the Moorpark City Council held a meeting Jan. 2, discussing how residents of Peach Hills, Mountain Meadows and Serenata were making complaints of how they can smell a “skunk-like” odor and that’s due to the fact that they are adjacent to the industrial hemp farm
Hemp growers and entrepreneurs were joyous a year ago after U.S. lawmakers reclassified the plant as a legal agricultural crop. Now they’re worried their businesses could be crippled if federal policymakers move ahead with draft regulations.
The decision comes after the Camarillo Planning Commission unanimously voted last month in favor of a proposed ordinance to ban the cultivation of the crop. The ordinance would not apply to unincorporated land outside the city limits and would not go into effect unless approved by the City Council.
Ventura County supervisors moved this week toward passing land-use protections to address the skunk-like smell from hemp fields after hearing complaints from a stream of angry homeowners in Moorpark.
Outdoor marijuana growers are reporting an increase in cross-pollination from hemp farms, a development that could mean marijuana cultivators might lose upwards of tens of thousands of dollars if their plants become unmarketable as flower products.
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 agriculture change through the seasons, and others like the feeling of living in a rural part of town.
The Camarillo City Council rejected a proposed moratorium on industrial hemp cultivation, bucking the trend of hemp bans in other cities in the county.
Lima beans, walnuts, sugar beets, citrus, bell peppers and strawberries. The list goes on of the different crops that have been planted and reaped over the past century and a half on fertile farmland throughout Ventura County.
An industrial hemp field on Pleasant Valley Road between Oxnard and Camarillo. Hemp is a term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content. The industry is booming due to decriminalization efforts and the rising popularity of cannabidiol, or CBD, which has shown promise in treating a variety of ailments. BECCA WHITNALL/Acorn Newspapers