Hemp in Santa Maria

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Hancock College is sponsoring hundreds of acres of hemp cultivators in Santa Barbara County in total disregard for the impact on residences and businesses. Cannabis and hemp are the same plant with the exact same nuisances — odor, noise, traffic, crime.

We live on our lemon ranch in Santa Maria and now have hemp growing less than 200 feet from our front door and 30 feet from our trees. We were given no notice, no ability to comment, and there is no signage. It just showed up along with all the nuisances that accompany cannabis. Odor, noise, security threats, sheriff incidents, gun shots in the middle of the night. It is not just threatening our home and our farm. It is threatening other residences and business survivability surrounding it. Cottonwood Winery, AAA Kindness, Freitas Farms.

If anyone understands that cannabis and hemp are the same plant with the same nuisances — it is the researchers. It appears the sole interest of Hancock College is revenue generation in total disregard for the impact on residences and businesses. They have taken advantage of the lack of county hemp regulations and in the process have adversely impacted residences and businesses. Many California counties have banned research institutions from hemp cultivation or limited them to one acre because of the exact behavior of Hancock College. And most California counties have adopted hemp land use regulations, including San Luis Obispo and Ventura that limit where and how hemp is allowed to be grown.

It is shameful that our County Board of Supervisors have not acted but this is not an excuse for Hancock College acting unethically and in total disregard for the residences and business.

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