New York State and the Federal government recently opening doors for the legal growth of hemp (as opposed to marijuana which is still illegal) without any real discussion regarding the effects of such growth on public health, the environment and people's enjoyment of their property when located within proximity to a facility growing such hemp.
While Hemp may be the new cash crop which (reportedly) can help farms be more profitable, the lack of any constraints nor acknowledgement of the harm such operations cause to neighboring homes is troubling.
FIRST, WE DIFFERENTIATE INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH FROM TRUE "AGRICULTURAL" USED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
1. No other agricultural use has such an intense smell that travels such far distances. Even a pig farm, which is arguably as smelly an agricultural operation as possible, is limited in size and does not take up 100+ acres, all of which produce a noxious smell.
2. Most agricultural uses do not create pollen clouds that can travel many miles and coat nearby structures, cars, clothing, pools, etc.
3. Most agricultural uses are not touted as "industrial" hemp under a "research program.
4. Most agricultural uses do not require substantial security fences with cameras, obnoxious and rather insulting signage regarding trespassing and/or guards (possibly armed).
5. Most agricultural uses do not have people stopping on the side of the road to gawk, take photos and/or try to steal hemp plants.
6. Most agricultural uses have been established for a long time and, while hemp growing has been done since humans started being agrarians, the hemp industry in NY and the US in general is in its infancy and it is still experimental in nature. Things such as health effects, effect to the environment, effects to property values, etc. are largely an unknown.
SECOND, THE FOLLOWING FACTS ARE LARGELY INDISPUTABLE FOR ANYONE WHO LIVES IN PROXIMITY TO AN INDUSTRIAL HEMP GROWING OPERATION.
1. The smell, stemming from the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the form of terpenes, is extremely unpleasant and directly affects the enjoyment of nearby homes and properties. This relates both to indoor activities and outdoor activities. Even with windows closed, the smell reaches indoor spaces through cracks, vents, etc.. Unfortunately, the peak season of the smell corresponds to the peak season for outdoor enjoyment.
2. The smell extends large distances (easily up to a 1/2 mile or more depending on the winds).
3. The pollen coats nearby structures, cars, clothing, pools, etc. with a residue which becomes dirty.
4. The pollen and smell from the VOCs causes noticeable health effects resulting in poor breathing, coughing, nausea, etc. This is especially true with sensitive populations such as people with asthma, young children and infants and the elderly.
THIRD, THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ARE OBVIOUS BUT NOT KNOWN DUE TO THE LACK OF ANY STUDY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS FLEDGLING INDUSTRY.
1. To what extent does the pollen or VOCs create ill health effects on a short term and seasonal basis.
2. To what extent does the pollen or VOCs create long term ill health effects.
3. How far does the pollen and/or VOCs actually travel and create ill effects?
4. To what extent could the pervasive smell create a chemical dependencies?
5. To what extent could the pervasive smell exacerbate existing chemical dependencies?
6. To what extent does the growth of hemp impact groundwater levels, upstream and downstream uses, etc.?
7. To what extent does the growth of hemp create concerns related to safety? What levels of security are normal and allowed?
AS SUCH, WE ASK THAT THE FOLLOWING BE DONE IMMEDIATELY:
1. All industrial hemp growth permits with New York State within 1/2 mile of any residential communities or public use facilities (i.e. any area with a residential or similar land use, town parks, etc.) immediately be put on hold directly after the 2019 harvest (this is an acknowledgement that it would be too much of a burden to ask for this years crop to be abandoned). This hold would be in place until the below studies are completed and/or a special use permit or waiver is issued by the local numicipality after a public hearing and notice to all property owners within 1/2 mile of the proposed facility.
2. That the state and/or affected towns complete a detailed study into the health effects from hemp growth. This study should include a discussion of the size of the hemp growing operation, the type of hemp being grown and the different stages of the growing operation from planting to harvest.
3. That the state and/or affected towns complete a detailed study into the effects on property values form hemp growth. This study should include a discussion of the size of the hemp growing operation, the type of the hemp being grown and the different stages of the growing operation from planting to harvest.
4. That the state and/or affected town complete a detailed study into distance from a hemp growth operation where the smell from the VOCs and the pollen can travel. this study should include a discussion of the size of the hemp growing operation, the type of hemp being grown and the different stages of the growing operation from planting to harvest.
5. That the state and/or affected town determine appropriate mitigation measures ot limit the movement of VOCs and pollen from the hemp growth operations. There is ample science around this type of mitigation, especially as it would apply to any industrial or research facility.
6. That the above studies combined with the largely indisputable facts described above be used to both limit the areas where hemp can be grown in the future (i.e. not with 1/2 mile of a residential community) and determine appropriate mitigation measures.
We thank you ahead of time for your attention to this extremely important and timely concern.
HEMP VERSUS MARIJUANA
Can you tell the difference?
'PUTRID' odor brings Molalla Hemp facility to Court-Clackamas County-Oregon
MOLALLA, Ore. (KOIN)- People living in the town of Molalla are turning up their noses over an odd odor they claim is coming from a hemp processing facility.
Dozens of people gathered for a municipal court hearing on Tuesday night to listen to public testimony in the case against the Columbia Hemp Trading Company.
the facility, which opened in August 2019, processes hemp - a natural crop grown for its fibers. It does not contain the psychoactive properties of cannabis.
But in recent months, the City of Molalla has received numerous complaints about a bad smell.
"Hemp is a big cash crop but you cannot destroy a community like this," said Dave Scott of Molalla. "their business pollutes the air and the biggest community is five, six blocks down the road. it's not fair, it's not right."
Accusers say the facility is wafting a scent akin to burining chemicals and rotten meat. They say it comes and goes in waves.
"The best way I can describe it is putrid sauerkraut," said Molalla resident Jody Berg. "it has a metallic after taste so it lives in the back of your throat."
Pat Torsen of Molalla, who first noticed the scent in November, said it smells like "chemical garbage burning."
Others have said they can't enjoy even the simplest of activities, like spending time outside.
"I can't go outside or I willl get physically ill," said resident Jody Berg.
An attorney for the City of Molalla told KOIN 6 News the alleged culprit of the smell has not changed its methods.
"The city had sought voluntary compliance from the company, " said attorney Amy Lindgren. "Ultimately, we had to issue them a nuisance abatement notice. they then protested that notice and the hearing tonight was for the judge to decide."
2018 HEMP FIELD LOCATED IN BORING OREGON ON PROCTOR ROAD-WAS A FORMER RASPBERRY FIELD, NOW BEING LEASED TO HEMP GROWERS. YOU CAN SMELL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY AND IT IS LOCATED RIGHT NEXT TO A SCHOOL. CURRENTLY THERE ARE OVER 600 HEMPS GROWS IN OREGON.
A HEMP HEADACHE
Goggle A Hemp Headache if link does not work
HEMP FIELDS IN OREGON ARE LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND ARE UNREGULATED IN TERMS OF SIZE AND CONTROLLING THE SKUNK SMELL OF POT.
HEMP GROWS ARE TESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 4 WEEKS BEFORE A HARVEST BY TAKING A RANDOM 30 PLANT TESTING AREA. IF THE GROW THC TESTS HIGHER THAN .3% THC, THEN THE ENTIRE CROP MUST BE DESTROYED. MANY CROPS ARE TESTING AS HIGH AS .67%.
THESE HEMP GROWS CREATE INCREASED TRAFFIC, SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT BACKGROUND CHECKED FREQUENTING THE AREA, EMIT THE SKUNKY SMELL OF POT MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR SURROUNDING NEIGHBORS TO ENJOY THEIR OWN PROPERTY, ARE LOCATED NEXT TO SCHOOLS AND CHILDREN PLAY AREAS AND ATTRACT BURGLARS.
MANY HEMP GROWS LOCATED IN AREAS WHERE RURAL RESIDENTAL HOMES ARE LOCATED ARE CAUSING ALARMING PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES FOR NEIGHBORS, CREATING ALLERGIC REACTIONS FROM THE ODORS AND SMELL, SENDING SOME TO EMERGENCY BECAUSE IT HAS MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO BREATH.
A RECENT TESTIMONY BY NEIGHBORS IN CLACKAMAS COUNTY CAN BE REVIEWED AT
THE BELOW LINK AT TIMEFRAME 15:38-THIS IS A CLACKAMAS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS BUSINESS MEETING NOV. 29TH/video/ UNDER CITIZEN COMMUNICATIONS:
MANY GROWERS ARE FLYING LOW LEVEL HELICOPTERS OVER THEIR CROPS TO KEEP THEM FROM FREEZING. OTHERS ARE SHOOTING OFF WEAPONS AT 2AM TO KEEP THE DEER OUT OF THEIR FIELDS BECAUSE THE DEER ARE EATING THEIR CROPS.
SOME GROWERS WHO ARE LOCATED IN A WET PART OF THE STATE ARE GROWING THEIR CROPS, THEN HARVESTING THEM AND THEN TRUCKING THESE HARVESTED PLANTS TO DRYER PARTS OF THE STATE, RENTING PROPERTY AND THEN SPREADING THEIR HARVEST IN THOSE FIELDS TO DRY. NEIGHBORS IN THOSE AREAS ARE COMPLAINING OF THE SMELL AND HOW THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN IN RURAL RESIDENTIAL FARMING PROPERTIES.
DESCHUTES COUNTY ARTICLE REVEALS THE NEIGHBOR'S CONCERNS.
FIELD OF DRYING HEMP IN BEND CAUSES A STINK
THIEVES STEAL $15,000 WORTH OF HEMP PLANTS IN BARTON
OREGON: REDMOND MAN JAILED, ACCUSED OF TRYING TO ROB HEMP FARM
HEMP IS A MARIJUANA PLANT AND SMELLS JUST AS BAD AS A MARIJUANA PLANT
Oregon's Department of Agriculture issues Hemp Licenses and to date license requests have tripled since January of 2016 and there have been over 220 Hemp licenses issued as of 7-25-17 for seed dealers such as; (Costco, BiMart, Marshalls, Thrifty Payless, Walmart, Lowes, Albertsons, K Mart, Kroger, Cutters High School Pharmacy, Geren's Feed Boring), and licenses for wholesale seed dealers,hemp growers, and hemp handlers. The Oregon Department of Agriculture does not have the authority to regulate HEMP, therefore it is left up to the Counties and Cities to develop land use regulations.
If your county does not have any HEMP land use regulations, large HEMP growers can grow on just about every zone there is, even in your mom's back yard, with no restrictions on number of plants, no restrictions on type of plant male or female, no setbacks, no frontage road requirements, no lighting requirements for greenhouses, no hours of operation, no traffic limitations, no concentrate or extract processing limitations, basically turning your once quiet community into a HEMP production and processing zone.
Neighbors across Oregon are complaining of these open visible fields of HEMP. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is issuing HEMP licenses for a land use activity without the involvement or consultation of the local planning departments, simply because the DOA does not have authority to regulate HEMP according to the Department of Justice as HEMP has not been federally legal until December of 2018. Now the USDA is in the process of developing HEMP laws, but local State Department of Agriculture and local jurisdictions will hopefully be able to provide some HEMP regulations in order to mitigate the public health impacts to citizens.
Processing industrial HEMP and agricultural HEMP seed is a commercial use in conjunction with farm use in applicable resource zones and as an outright use in appropriate industrial zones. In many counties any use that requires an ODA industrial hemp handler license requires a local land use review.
Like medical and recreational marijuana which requires a LUCS Land Use Compatibility Statement from local planning departments before being issued a license, the same should hold true for all HEMP production in our communities. Right now many are setting up HEMP grows in your mom's backyard without any land use regulation requirements.
If you find yourself with a large HEMP grow moving in next door contact your local Board of County Commissioners or City Counsel, and planning departments and require that they provide HEMP production and processing land use regulations in your area.
THE CHART BELOW REVEALS THE NUMBER OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LICENSES APPLIED FOR WITH 98% BEING FOR MARIJUANA PRODUCTION AND HEMP GROWER LICENSES ISSUED IN EACH COUNTY.