Sonoma County’s First Hemp Crop Belongs to a Fourth-Generation Rancher

There was a time when Lee Martinelli Jr.’s 1,200 hemp plants would have been at risk of government destruction. Today, he mostly has to worry about weeds and deer.

Martinelli, whose family has been ranching in the area for generations, is one of nine growers in Sonoma County who are registered to cultivate commercial hemp. His crop is the first of its kind.

“Hopefully it’ll be a niche market that works out,” he told the Press Democrat.

Sonoma County’s new hemp market could be financially promising. But it’s off to a slower start. There’s still no hemp processing facility in the area and the FDA still isn’t on board.

Read more about Sonoma County’s first legal hemp crop here