The temporary ban was first adopted in September, three months after a Southern California company planted a hemp farm near Holt for “agricultural and academic research.” At the moment, growing industrial hemp is only allowed if done by “established” research institutions, and county officials said in September they didn’t believe that the grow in question met that requirement.
They cited concerns that until proper rules are put in place, hemp poses “far too many threats and unforeseen consequences,” including its similar appearance to a marijuana grow and the potential for an increase in criminal activity.
With the temporary ban in place, law enforcement then removed the hemp plants at the farm in the Delta.
The company, Cannabis Science Inc., along with American Indians and a college identifying itself as “American States University,” have since filed a lawsuit against the county claiming $77 million in damages.
Raymond Dabney, who said he was president of Cannabis Science Inc. and chancellor of American States University, told supervisors prior to their vote Tuesday that they had been misled by county staff.
“You guys don’t even know what we do,” Dabney told supervisors. “That’s what’s evident to me.