Paso Robles News|Friday, August 7, 2020
You are here: Home » Opinion » Industrial hemp essentially banned in SLO County, Farm Bureau says
  • Follow Us!

Industrial hemp essentially banned in SLO County, Farm Bureau says 

From the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau

–On Tuesday, May 5, San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to enact severe restrictions on industrial hemp cultivation in SLO County. Only Supervisor Bruce Gibson voted against the ordinance. The nearly four-hour-long discussion resulted in significant revisions to the public hearing draft that had been presented to the public.

New restrictions on industrial hemp include:

  • 400 acre site minimum for outdoor cultivation,
  • 5 acre site minimum for indoor cultivation,
  • 1 mile setback from Village and Urban Reserve Lines,
  • 2,000 foot setback from property lines,
  • No exceptions can be granted through a Minor Use Permit,
  • Outdoor grows are limited to Ag and Rural Lands land use categories,
  • Cannot be grown in hoop houses (other crops are still allowed),
  • Only hemp transplants inside a greenhouse can be grown in the Residential Rural land use category (immature plants with no odor), and
  • Hemp cannot be grown in the Edna Valley American Viticulture Area.


While the board’s findings stated “the proposed amendments to not constitute a de-facto prohibition” on hemp cultivation,” there are now very few sites in the county where hemp can be grown. For example, if someone has a 400-acre square site, the new restrictions would allow hemp to be grown on less than one acre in the middle of the farm.

Watch video of the May 5 meeting (hemp is Agenda Item 22) by clicking here. Read comments submitted by SLO County Farm Bureau by clicking here.