SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 153, a measure designed to ensure California is well-positioned to begin the cultivation of industrial hemp, has unanimously cleared the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, representing the 21st Senate District, said Monday.
“I am very pleased to see SB 153 moving with bipartisan support,” Wilk said in a news release. “Industrial hemp is a natural fit for California’s arid climate. Farmers in the Antelope Valley will be able to save five-acre-feet of water per acre by switching to it. Industrial hemp is used in 25,000 different products. With the increased production of hemp, it is likely California will also see an uptick in the manufacturing of these hemp-related products. This means good jobs and a host of other benefits to our region.”
In 2018, with the passage of Wilk-authored SB 1409, California streamlined industrial hemp production rules and became compliant with then-existing federal law. Later in the year the President signed H.R.2 – the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (farm bill), resulting in new requirements. A state’s plan to license and regulate hemp can only commence by complying with federal law.
SB 153 would revise California’s provisions regulating the cultivation and testing of industrial hemp to conform to the requirements for a state plan under the federal farm bill. SB 153 requires the Secretary of CDFA, in consultation with the Governor and the Attorney General, to develop and submit a state plan to the Secretary of the USDA, on or before January 31, 2020.
“Today’s vote ensures California’s law conforms to changes in federal law,” said Wilk. “The ability to grow and compete in the industrial hemp industry is a big win for our local farmers!”
SB 153’s next stop: Senate Appropriations Committee.