The California Senate has approved Senate Bill 153, which would ensure California law is in full compliance with changes to federal law regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who introduced the bill, announced Wednesday.
“Industrial hemp presents such an exciting opportunity for California, especially in areas like the Antelope Valley,” said Wilk, who represents the 21st Senate District, including the Santa Clarita Valley.
“SB 153 is about getting it right so we are in full compliance with federal law and can take advantage of every opportunity this plant has to offer our farmers and manufacturer,” Wilk said. “Hemp is used in 25,000 different products so the opportunities are endless.”
In 2018, with the passage of SB 1409 (Wilk), 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 California Department of Food and Agriculture, 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.
“The sails of the Pinta, the Niña and the Santa Maria were made from hemp, as were the boats’ caulking,” Wilk said. “Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, and Betsy Ross weaved the first flag out of hemp. Industrial hemp is going to revolutionize agriculture in California and should be seen as our ‘back to the future.”
SB 153 is now headed to the California Assembly for consideration.