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Supervisors Agree To Research Hemp Cultivation Pilot Program

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors wants to start a pilot program to permit the cultivation of small test plots of industrial hemp. During a special meeting Thursday night, a lot of vocal opposition was heard by people concerned that allowing the growing of hemp will somehow lead to a proliferation of its psychoactive cousin, cannabis. Sheriff Eric Magrini reiterated concerns that hemp fields might conceal the growing of cannabis, and that deputies may not be able to tell the difference. He said he’s heard stories from other parts of the state where cannabis growers have vandalized hemp fields to keep it from interfering with their own crops because when cannabis is grown in proximity to hemp it causes it to go to seed, rendering it worthless. Last May an ordinance was passed that would permit indoor cultivation of hemp in certain zoning districts, but nobody has shown interest in such a project. The board decided to research setting up the pilot program, but they don’t want to launch it until more is done about illegal cannabis cultivation.