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California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Hemp Bill

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industrial hemp cultivation californiaSB 566 Would Allow California Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp Upon Federal Approval

California has joined multiple other states than have legalized hemp at the state level with Governor Jerry Brown signing Senate Bill 566. This puts even further press on the feds to allow hemp cultivation. See below:

September 27, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation that allows California farmers to be prepared to grow industrial hemp upon federal approval. Senate Bill 566, authored by Senator Mark Leno, would permit growers in the Golden State to cultivate industrial hemp for the sale of seed, oil and fiber to manufacturers and businesses that currently rely on international imports for raw hemp products. The bill, which is co-authored by Assemblymember Allan Monsoor, R-Costa Mesa, would allow cultivation once the recent announcements from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder allowing states to regulate cannabis are clarified to include hemp.

“With the signing of this bill, California is poised to grow industrial hemp when the federal government gives states the green light,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “In the past year, the conversation to legalize the cultivation of hemp has gained momentum at the federal level, and it is only a matter of time before a farmer’s right to grow hemp is restored. Hemp, which is already found in hundreds of consumer products manufactured in our state, is a perfect crop for California. It has great potential to revitalize family farms, create new jobs and stimulate the economy.”

Earlier this year, two separate bills allowing states to regulate industrial hemp cultivation were introduced in Congress, continuing the national debate on whether the hemp ban should remain in place. In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in the Farm Bill that would have allowed colleges and universities to grow hemp for research in states where hemp production is allowed.

Sen. Leno’s California Industrial Hemp Farming Act puts into place the framework needed for hemp cultivation to occur in California immediately following federal approval. Enforcement and oversight of hemp production would be conducted in concert with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and county agricultural commissioners, as is done with other crops.

SB 566 is co-sponsored by Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp. It is supported by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, individual county sheriffs, family and organic farmers, environmental organizations, labor unions and businesses statewide.

“Governor Brown’s signing of SB 566 means the juggernaut of California has just thrown its hat into the ring regarding the movement to re-legalize industrial hemp farming in the United States,” said Patrick Goggin, Co-counsel and board member of Vote Hemp. “With the strength of California’s voice, we draw ever closer to adding another versatile, environmentally friendly cash crop to our farmers’ growing options.”

Hemp has a deep history in the U.S. The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria crossed the Atlantic with sails made of hemp, and both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp, which was legal tender until the early 1800s. Today, industrial hemp is used to manufacture thousands of food, clothing, personal care products and building materials. The nation’s hemp market is currently valued at $500 million annually, and more than 50% of the nation’s hemp product companies are based in California.

“Hemp grown right here in California would stimulate massive growth in the food, body care, textiles, building and other crucial sectors that suffer from having to import less efficient materials in lieu of this lucrative industrial crop,” says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “The nationwide movement to legalize industrial hemp and farm it right here in the US to benefit American business is growing, and SB 566 opens a door to incredible opportunity for farmers who seek sustainable agriculture, ecologically responsible businesses and products. Ultimately, this bill will help end the prohibition on what is one of the most versatile and environmentally revolutionary industrial crops on the planet.”

“SB 566 demonstrates the real momentum behind the national movement to legalize industrial hemp,” said Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “With Congressional bills to legalize hemp currently in both the House and Senate, California is on the cutting edge, pushing forward with an industrial hemp law that would not only stimulate much needed growth in local business and farming sectors, but ultimately lead the nation toward a federal policy change that would open hemp cultivation to hemp farmers around the country. This will lower our dependence on Canada and China for hemp imports, and empower our agrarian and manufacturing economies to finally tap into one of the fastest growing natural products in the market.”

Source: California Senator Mark Leno

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15 Comments

  1. In case you didn’t see my other two posts: Please take note of this scammer, Weed Guy, above. He has the ability to edit my posts. Please ban him right away. Thank you.

  2. Do you know why pot is illegal? In 1936 DuPont got the patent for nylon, William Randolph Hearst got the rights to deforest the north west for paper pulp for his newspaper empire. They and others went to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and they included a plan to criminalize marijuana as part of the “New Deal” legislation, Remember “Reefer Madness”? That was propaganda to convince the public.
    When congress had hearings on this matter the AMA didn’t know what it was, they new it as cannabis and farmers knew it as hemp. When the AMA finally discovered what congress was talking about they sent representatives saying ” they know of no harmful effects of cannabis”. The AMA did not want it made illegal as is was used widely in many patent medicines. Congress did anyway, marijuana was made illegal in 1937. Why? Because it was competition for both nylon (the seeds) and paper pulp (the stems).
    It is illegal not because it’s bad for you but because of a dirty back room deal between politicians and big business.
    In societies where cannabis has been used for centuries, it’s use by the young is frowned upon as some grow lazy and apathetic. Their careers and personal relationships might suffer, this is an issue that can by addressed through consoling and intervention. To the older, who suffer the aches and pains that come with age though it is a blessing. Witness the many medical uses for it.
    Help end the cartels reign and free the common man from fines and incarceration, lost rights and interrupted lives.

  3. Recently a DEA official remarked how great he thought Facebook was, describing the database like this: “A billion people all sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings, political leanings, embarrassing and sometimes incriminating photos, forever leaving an electronic trail throughout their travels, because wherever you go and log in through Facebook…” He trailed off, but finished with, “Facebook is just about the best place to begin any search. I mean, for the DEA.”

  4. Americans need jobs and we need to stop the government drain of our tax dollars towards pointless marijuana convictions. Candidates all over the country such as Miami Beach’s Steve Berke are trying to start the conversation. Like his page at Steve Berke or Facebook . com / SteveBerkeforMayor

  5. It is illegal to grow hemp for industrial use in any state right now. That is why most everyone is not trying to grow it. From my understanding this will be a good first step for people , farms and businesses to start and give the green light for other states to follow in its footsteps. If passed on the Federal level you will be able to, in the correct state or states later on, to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes without faces criminal charges.

  6. It is illegal to grow hemp for industrial use in any state right now. That is why most everyone is not trying to grow it. From my understanding this will be a good first step for people , farms and businesses to start and give the green light for other states to follow in its footsteps. If passed on the Federal level you will be able to, in the correct state or states later on, to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes without faces criminal charges.

  7. With all of the new organic products coming on to the market, those made with hemp (like a make-up and skin care line) are made outside of the U.S. I hope the manufacturing of new green products will not be “outsourced” internationally, as all of America’s other manufacturing industries were. Or is it already too late?

  8. Well that is sad to know, but I understand. Canada is doing great things I agree, alternative fuels and such, very awesome. One step at a time I guess. Still a positive thing in my book.

  9. I hate to say this, but it’s true: this is more of a ceremonial law passage than a functional one. Farmers still can’t grow hemp in the U.S. without facing being charged like a marijuana grower; felonies, etc.

    That’s why no one’s growing hemp even in the states that it is already ‘legal’ in. No one wants to get arrested for growing hemp, and that’s a very real possibility if you’re growing fields of it (the only way you can grow hemp to make it economically viable).

    This is all such a farce and so frustrating. Canadians can legally grow hemp, but Americans can’t. There isn’t an outbreak of crime and civil unrest because hemp is legal in Canada.

    American lawmakers are still controlled by the religious factions in this country that demonize all things cannabis.

    Someday….cannabis, in all forms, will be legal.

  10. Well done California, now we just need to free this pesky issue up across the board. Wow, restored farmers industry, construction rejuvenated soil from hemp cycles, win win. :)

  11. Add the cultivation of hemp, to the legalization of same-sex marriages and all the business it will generate, and California should finally be in the black. Great forward thinking by our CA politicians. I’m so lucky I live here.

  12. this brilliant move, should have never been took away from us. this country has been hijacked and not free since “the war on drugs” began.

  13. Wow. Am I impressed! Finally. Aside from the fact that hemp is not sensitive to pests like cotton is (so no pesticides), hempcrete is one of the most sustainable and beneficial building elements. Very fire resistant, mold resistant, light and easy to work with. California will benefit in so many ways from this brilliant move.