Local Group Countdown: 12 Days Until Hemp Meeting on Monday, January 6th

Today’s Fact: 12 Days Until Hemp Meeting on Monday, January 6th  

Day 12.  CRITICAL WATERSHEDS. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in collaboration with Fish and Wildlife (CDRW) has attempted to protect fish in five areas of Sonoma County. During the last drought the SWRCB put restrictions on rural residents in regard to water usage from their own wells: no watering of landscaping or vegetable gardens, no car washing and a 25% reduction in domestic use in five critical watersheds. Agriculture is exempt from such curtailments. The Attached map shows the areas which were put on restriction during the drought. They are the critical spawning and rearing reaches of Mark West Creek Watershed, Green Valley Creek Watershed, Dutch Bill Creek Watershed, Mill Creek Watershed and sub-watersheds of these creeks. Curtailment of only rural residents and not agriculture was not adequate to prevent summer die off of fish in these creeks including those planted as part of the Coho restoration program at Warm Springs dam.

critical watersheds.JPG


Day 13. The land use designation RRD stands for Resources and Rural Development. RRD designation is used to protect the county’s natural resource lands and allows for only very low-density residential development. Resources to be protected include commercial timber land, lands within the Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA), lands identified in the County’s Aggregate Resources Management Plan and natural resource lands including watershed, fish and wildlife habitat and other biotic areas. (General Plan) 

Development in RRD results in two primary environmental consequences: habitat loss and fragmentation and the degradation of water resources and water quality. RRD lands account for 51% of the total acreage in Sonoma County and contain 492,658 acres much of which is heavily forested and mountainous. (General Plan). 

RRD is not a “right to farm” zone.  

Day 14. The General Plan includes the category “Residential Land Uses” (few if any urban services but access to county roads) and consists of 75,588 acres or 7.8% of the total county . Slightly more than half of these residential lands are zoned Agriculture and Residential (AR) with the remainder designated Rural Residential (RR). According to the Hemp Draft, AR zoning “allows … agriculture, but the primary use remains residential”. Given the similarity to cannabis and the shared unique incompatibility issues, prohibiting hemp cultivation in AR would avoid conflicts. THC pot is prohibited in AR.


 Day 15. State law allows counties to tailor their hemp program to meet the values and societal priorities of their counties. Example: The Monterrey County BOS decided that hemp is  just like cannabis and should be managed and permitted the same. Hemp is allowed in either industrial or agricultural zones but not in any residential combined or resources zones. Permits are required, 1,000 foot buffer zones between cultivation and residences is mandatory and there is a limit to the number in their pilot program. Monterrey County wants to keep hemp where it should be grown and avoid conflicts.

Day 16. The California Department of Public Health and the U.S. FDA inform that the use of hemp-derived CBD as a food additive or dietary supplement has not been approved and is not allowed.