After over a year of meetings, public comment and county data, Supervisors will again be discussing additional regulations for local cannabis farmers next Tuesday, July 14. As Good Farmers and Great Neighbors we pride ourselves on looking at the data, so before next week’s meeting here’s some key points to remember.
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What state and local experts are saying…
“I really think that over time we are going to start looking at cannabis as agriculture, as it should have been looked at from the beginning … cannabis can help those small grape growers who are struggling to survive…” – Tony Linegar, Sonoma County Ag Commissioner, North Bay Business Journal
In 2019, Sonoma Ag Commissioner’s Office estimated the value of local cannabis equals about $5.9 million per acre, far outpacing the almost $13,000 average per-acre value of wine grapes.
“Area dairy farmers, who have dealt with declining prices in the organic milk market, also will start growing or leasing their land for hemp and cannabis cultivation.” – Tony Linegar, Sonoma County Ag Commissioner, Press Democrat
Professor Sellu implemented a study to measure drift from hemp acreage into vineyards at SRJC’s Shone Vineyard and Farm. The conclusion: No Hemp Terpenes were detected on wine grapes or in wine made from those grapes. – Professor George Sellu, Santa Rosa Junior College, Agribusiness Program, PhD in Agricultural Science, University of California – Davis. Click here to view Dr. Sellou’s study.
Economic Equity and Opportunity
“Hemp, like other grain crops such as corn, rice and wheat requires a much lower capital investment compared to wine grapes, which cost anywhere from $25 – 35k per acre to plant.
More importantly, Hemp provides a higher revenue per acre compared to other grain crops which could help low-income farmers service their business loans and potentially become financially independent. Preventing low-income farmers from increasing their revenue stream in a shorter time is an elitist mentality that needs to be challenged.” – Professor George Sellu, Made Local Magazine, Sonoma County Food Action Plan, Sustaining Technologies
A Local Farmer’s Perspective
“De Friel supplements his knowledge of bioengineering with years of family history in farming lettuce, celery, onions, potatoes and apples in California, Oregon and Washington…views cannabis as just another agricultural crop.” – Just a Plant: Farmers Stress that Cannabis is another agricultural commodity, Santa Maria Sun, click here to view profile on John De Friel, Farmer of Central Coast Agriculture and others.
Let us continue to work together to build a better future for Santa Barbara County where we all share in its economic prosperity and promise to collaborate with respect and integrity.
Join us in adding your voice to a growing concert of farmers, entrepreneurs, business suppliers, workers and their families with a commitment to support the very best sun grown, pesticide-free cannabis cultivation practices in Santa Barbara County.
Please consider sending a letter of support for sustainable jobs and economic growth to the Board of Supervisors before Monday at 5pm.
- Distribution to the Board of Supervisors: Submit your comment via email prior to 5 p.m.. on the day prior to the Board meeting. Please submit your comment to the Clerk of the Board at: [email protected]. Your comment will be placed into the record and distributed appropriately.
- By Phone: If you would like to make a comment by phone, please call (805) 568-2240 and state your name, your phone number and which item you would like to speak on and the clerk will call you at the appropriate time. Please make every effort to be available and mute all streaming devices once it is your turn to speak.
- You may observe the live stream of the Board of Supervisors meetings on:
- (1) Local Cable Channel 20
- (2) Online at: http://www.countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc
- (3) YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/CSBTV20