California hemp farmers trying to stop planting restrictions dealt legal blow

A county court has ruled against a group of California hemp farmers who wanted to block a local ordinance restricting where the plant can be grown.

The Coalition for Agricultural Rights sued San Luis Obispo County after local government officials voted in May to require 2,000-foot setbacks for 400-acre hemp production sites.

Cal Coast News reports the county court ruled this week against the farmers’ requests to temporarily stop enforcement of the ordinance while their lawsuit made it’s way through the legal system. The farmers also wanted the ordinance invalidated.

The County’s Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance because of concerns about smells, water usage, and failures of county staff to provide oversight, the newspaper reported.

The farmers argued in their lawsuit that the ordinance was effectively a ban. But the county has approved hemp cultivation at four local farms since the ordinance passed.

It’s unclear whether an appeal is planned.