Law Enforcement Bulldozes Arvin Hemp Field

Law Enforcement Bulldozes Arvin Hemp Field

ARVIN, CA - As veteran and legacy industry members explore the possibilities of hemp, Kern County growers paid a high price while specificities of an arena that is the proverbial Wild West of today's industry slowly come to light.

Following investigation of a purported hemp field, law enforcement officials bulldozed the field based on test results that showed the plants were marijuana, according to those familiar with the investigation.

According to, two individuals involved in the production of the crop in Kern County reported that law enforcement arrived over the weekend to knock down the plants that were determined to be marijuana.

Federal law allows qualified researchers to grow and possess hemp that tests positive for marijuana on the condition that they do not process or sell it, and must also register with local authorities to report where the plant is growing and post signs indicating that the crop is industrial hemp.

Through a federal investigation, it was determined that the Arvin Hemp Field contained plants that were marijuana

Lance Dalton, a hemp entrepreneur from the Bay Area said he was informed by law enforcement that some of the hemp fields being destroyed had been under contract by a local hemp researcher who had not registered some local acreage. Dalton commented that over two dozen samples that were tested came up “hot,” meaning the samples tested above the 0.3-percent federal limit for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, the news source reports.

Dalton commented that some of the tested plants had results as high as seven percent, adding, “that’s basically marijuana.”

As a consultant for a San Francisco-based company that processes hemp into CBD, Dalton said the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is working on the investigation with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the FBI. Both of the collaborating agencies referred to calls last week about the potential destruction of purported hemp plants near Arvin to the KCSO. The Sheriff’s Office had last week reported that the investigation is a “pretty, pretty big investigation,” the news source reports. Spokespeople for the DFW and FBI could not be reached for comment.

Some of the plants tested hot, containing 0.3 to 7 percent THC, which is over the federal limit

Pete Belluomini, a Bakersfield-area grower who has worked with a registered hemp researcher, reported that local law enforcement has tested some of the crop that he was contracted to grow “and determined (the plants) were over the legal limits and they asked that they be destroyed.” Belluomini confirmed that over the weekend, some local fields were cleared out with additional acreages cleared on Monday.

This investigation could be a potential setback to Kern County’s efforts to promote the cultivation of industrial hemp. With more than 7,000 registered acres in cultivation, the County has positioned itself as a leading producer of California-grown hemp, according to Hemp has become more valuable in recent years because the plant’s natural oil is used to produce CBD. The news source also reports that Kern County officials support growing the crop because the plant can be cross-pollinated with marijuana in a way that lowers the potency of psychoactive substance.

As of Monday, the KCSO declined to comment on the results of the crop destruction, commenting that it was unable to talk about what the agency had called an active investigation of hemp in the Arvin area.

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