If Milwaukee County issues a request for proposal (RFP) for growing hemp clones in the Mitchell Park Domes and no one applies, does the RFP make a sound?

Yes, it appears that a highly touted RFP looking for qualified businesses interested in cultivating hemp clones in one of the greenhouses of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservancy—a.k.a. the Domes—has closed, with exactly zero (0) applicants. Milwaukee County Parks shared the news with Milwaukee Record Thursday morning.

County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez announced the RFP back in May. It called for a “private entity to lease one of the greenhouses” and “cultivate hemp clones for market consumption with almost all the proceeds going to Milwaukee County.” The RFP closed June 15.

“Milwaukee County cannot wait any longer on this opportunity to garner much needed revenue for the Domes and Milwaukee County’s parks system,” Ortiz-Velez said in May.

Ortiz-Velez first proposed the idea of using the Domes for hemp production in 2018. A report from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture concluded that it wasn’t worth pursuing. A second report, however, this one from R. B. Mack Consulting, Inc. and others, found that a hemp-growing operation could generate $1.7 million in gross annual sales, and that the Domes’ greenhouses were “well-suited” for cultivating hemp clones.

The County Board passed Ortiz-Velez’s resolution to issue an RFP in 2019. “The RFP was set to be released in 2020,” a May press release from Ortiz-Velez explained, “but was put on hold due to an administrative order from the County Executive halting all RFPs. Supervisor Ortiz-Velez authored a budget amendment (1A025) overriding the order and instructing the Parks Department to release the RFP and report its progress to the County Board’s Parks Committee.”

Ortiz-Velez’s May press release also noted that “no funding from this operation will be derived from County funds.”

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.