The New Industrial Hemp Fields in Camarillo


Ian Lattimer

Camarillo farms have started to grow industrial hemp in the berry offseason, which can help to improve soil quality and has numerous uses.

Camarillo farmers have transitioned from growing lemons to industrial hemp after the 2018 Farm Bill and Propositions 215 and 64 were passed by the state legislature, legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

Industrial hemp is a strain of cannabis known as Sativa, which is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived product. To qualify as industrial hemp, the product must be 0.003% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  concentration. This strain is extremely low in THC and varies on the range of CBD, a chemical called Cannabidiol which has recently been used as a painkiller.

The Farm Bill said, “Hemp is legal in the United States — with serious restrictions… This allowed small-scale expansion of hemp cultivation for limited purposes. The 2018 Farm Bill is more expansive. It allows hemp cultivation broadly, not simply pilot programs for studying market interest in hemp-derived products. It explicitly allows the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes.”

Camarillo proposed a moratorium for industrial hemp to the voting floor on Oct. 9, 2019. Jayden Hixson, senior said, “I live by two fields and I don’t really care about the smell, I’d rather have the smell of [hemp] than manure.” The moratorium was proposed because of complaints by Camarillo residents on the smell of the industrial hemp. The proposed moratorium would have banned the cultivation of industrial hemp and the processing and manufacturing of industrial hemp within the next 45 days with a possible two-year extension; however, it was rejected with a 3-2 vote in opposition.

Some students have no issues with the hemp growing.”I drive past [the fields] a lot and I think hemp has a pivotal role in society.” said Crosby Unseth, senior.

Others are more uncertain. “I think it’s been an experience, definitely different than New York where that’s still not in normal society, it’s just weird for me a little,” said Melyssa Prouty, senior.