Boots & Sabers

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1327, 26 May 21

Growing Hemp in the Domes

Interesting proposal.

The county has issued a request for proposal for a private entity to lease one of the Domes’ greenhouses to propagate hemp clones for market consumption. The RFP is live until June 7.


The growing operation is one of several ideas that has emerged in recent years to revitalize or repurpose the Domes.


County supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, who first presented the idea of growing hemp in the Domes’ greenhouses in 2018, has previously touted a report indicating the operation could bring in as much as $1.6 million annually for the county parks.

I don’t have a problem with hemp, but is this really the role of government and a good use for the Domes? I assume that if there is an industrial hemp operation going on, then they would not be open to the public for educational purposes. If they will be open, then it’s a pretty boring field trip. So what’s the purpose? It it to have a revenue-generating commercial interest to fund domes that the public can no longer use? What is he public interest in that? I expect that “as much as” $1.6 million per year is still not enough to cover the maintenance and operations for the Domes themselves, so there wouldn’t even be surplus to use on other county expenses.

The Domes are cool and all, but perhaps it is time to let them go. The county has been trying for 20 years to find a way to update and maintain them and the public clearly isn’t that interested. Move on and spend the money on something the county’s residents do want


1327, 26 May 2021


  1. MjM

    In 2014 MKE built 7 new greenhouses on the 60 acre Mitchell park site at a cost of $11 million. The old county greenhouses were torn down due to Zoo interchange construction.

    Ortiz-Velez’s proposal was to propagate hemp cuttings in one of the new greenhouses, not grow the stuff for harvest in the domes themselves. It’s not bloody likely one could farm $1.6 million worth of hemp – the non-whoopee kind – on the 1.2 acres of dirt covered by the three domes.

    Prolly just as unlikely as making $1.6 mill on baby hemp sticks from a 7000SqFt green house.

  2. Mar

    According to Hempbenchmarks, Wisconsin currently does not allow greenhouse space to grow hemp.
    And prices are down 79% as of last year, so it is not that profitable anymore.

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