By: Mario Conde, Reporter
Looking to tap into a new market that could economically benefit the valley, the Imperial County entered into an agreement with a group that will help explode the economic benefits of hemp.
At the April 23rd meeting, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors signed an agreement with the California Hemp Foundation to help attract hemp related business and industry to Imperial County.
“The partnership with the foundation is to promote the hemp industry and its development in the near future,” said Ryan Kelley, Chairman of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.
Imperial County has a rich history in agriculture and the will to continue it for generations to come. With changes in legislation, a new opportunity for industrial hemp has developed into a valued commodity, the county has identified this to be an option with the potential to bring new jobs to the valley.
“We are thrilled to partner up with the forward-thinking Imperial County and help identify the economic development opportunities that hemp can bring to this community, ” said Wayne Richman, Founder/Executive Director of the California Hemp Association.
The California Hemp Foundation is a non-profit benefit, which promotes commerce and research of industrial hemp and its application and the California Hemp Association, which is a consumer trade association promoting commerce and research.
The county has chosen to engage in an agreement with the foundation, which will help them achieve economic development objectives in the hemp industry with a focus on job creation.
The hemp plant is estimated to be used in more than 25,000 products spanning agriculture, textiles, recycling, automotive, furniture, food, nutrition, beverages, paper, construction materials, and personal care. Hemp is defined as having less of 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, thus having no narcotic capability.
The United States is the biggest consumer of hemp in the world. The County of Imperial believes that if industrial hemp is legalizing for commercial purposes it can benefit the area and bring economic development.