California, the Hemp Connection?

Tuesday, the state senate passed Senate Bill 676 that allows 5 California counties–Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Yolo–to begin farming hemp. The bill would make it so that industrial hemp (having no more than .3% THC) could be cultivated to make fiber, oil or cakes from the sterilized seeds or the stalk but not the resin or buds.

Traditionally, the cannabis legalization movement has joined hands with hemp farmers who aren’t allowed to grow the low THC cousin to the marijuana. (In fact, one of our local stores with a marijuana twist which caters to both tourists and locals is known as The Hemp Connection–THC  wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) However, some pot farmers fear hemp’s legalization because the pollen from the one can fertilize the flowers of the other resulting in seeded and thus a less desirable product. Oregon currently allows hemp to be cultivated but I have yet to hear of any cross pollination issues.  I’ll be curious to see if California’s current crop of medical marijuana producers can coexist with hemp farmers.

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Photo from here

Hat tip to Mark Lovelace who pointed out the story.

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6 comments

  • Great news for CA’s hemp industry but Yolo county is a little too close for comfort. Pollen is known to travel hundreds of miles. Lets hope our mountains and thick forests will catch the pollen before it finds our flowers. I would expect the medical growers of Lake and Mendocino County to try to fight including Yolo county in this bill and the medical farmers of Humboldt should be concerned as well.

    Joey Burger
    HGA

  • This is big news. Good to see the progressive and long overdue move towards agricultural hemp production in California, but is a license/permit from the DEA still the often obstructed requirement? Sounds as if Oregon has worked it out.

  • I guess now we will get to see how people REALLY feel about hemp.

  • There’s a gang of misconceptions about low-THC hemp, pollen, and sinsemilla.

    Biggest myth is industrial hemp meant for fiber pollination. Industrial hemp ain’t likely to pollinate anything, including itself. If a farmer harvests a hemp crop in flower, they fucked up. The tensile strength of hemp fiber is highest during stem elongation and much less once the plants start devoting energy into flowers and stem girth. Nobody dropping money into a hemp farm is about to let their crop go to seed. The business plan is to plant close together as possible and harvest at peak elongation to get long ass bast fibers to sell for mad money, not just waste money like an idiot on some scrubby hemp crop that you forgot to cut.

    The strains to produce hemp oil and hemp seed are different than the fiber strains. Seed production in countries that allow it is always isolated a few miles between types. The reason being seed farmers don’t want other seed farmer’s seed crops to pollinate their seeds. If folks are idiots enough to plant a sinsemilla crop right next to a massive hemp seed farmer, they deserve what they get.

    The only factual consideration for hemp farming practices is that sinsemilla farmers would never use hemp as a cover crop. They wouldn’t be able to plant a row of big ass 5-lb plant in the middle of a field of 6″ spaced industrial hemp as that would be obvious as fuck. Nobody would plant a hemp seed crop and then throw some Trainwreck in there as the pollen from the seed crop which might pollinate plants 5 miles away would surely pollinate plants that were 5 feet away.

    People concerned about pollen don’t know shit about growing weed. Everybody football field grower could tell you a story (if these folks told stories) about how they had a male that seeded part of the crop radiating out from the stray male. As a stray male can’t even fully pollinate a few hundred feet away, nobody is tripping that a hemp seed farm 300 miles away will pollinate their shit. Usually when unknown random pollination occurs with weed, it is the next people up the hill who fucked up, not someone in a different county.

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