Fife Symington IV

Fife Symington IV

SNOWFLAKE — Fyfe Symington Jr., owner of Copperstate Farms medical marijuana production facility, asked councilors to approve an industrial hemp ordinance as one of the topics at the Tuesday, July 3 regular council meeting.

He said Snowflake is not the ideal place to grow industrial hemp, but he would like some protection for his facility if someone does. Symington wants a set-back from his medical marijuana farm, so industrial hemp would not contaminate the plants he grows for medical marijuana.

Industrial hemp plants look like marijuana and are in fact cannabis, but they don’t have THC levels in a range that can be used by people to get “high.”

Symigton said industrial hemp is around .03 percent THC while medial marijuana is in the 15-30 percent range.

Also, he said, the plants grown for medical marijuana are all female plants, while the plants grown for industrial hemp are both male and female.

The difference in growing each is that female medical marijuana plants have to be segregated from male plants to get an acceptable THC level to be used for medical marijuana.

It doesn’t matter if male and female plants mix together at an industrial hemp farm because the desired outcome is hemp with extremely low levels of THC in a plant that can be used to make everything from cloth to plastics to oil and even fuels.

Symington asked for an ordinance that requires any industrial hemp farm to be at least ten miles from his Copperstate Farms to keep his female plants safe from contamination by male industrial hemp plants.

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Mike Leiby covers police, courts, and the towns of Snowflake and Taylor.

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