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June 12
1868 - Ravena post office (with one "n") established in Soledad Canyon [story]
Ravenna depot


SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 153 into law, ensuring California law is in full compliance with changes to federal law regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, Senator Scott Wilk, 21st Senate District representative and the bill’s author announced Monday.

At the same time, among dozens of other bills he signed or vetoed Sunday, Newsom also vetoed the Wilk-authored SB 202, referred to as the Doggie Donor bill, which would have changed animal blood donor regulations to include private donors, saying “it does not go far enough.”

SB 153 requires the Secretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture, in consultation with the governor and the Attorney General, to develop and submit a state plan on industrial hemp to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture on or before May 1, 2020.

“SB 153 opens the door for California to take full advantage of the exciting opportunities industrial hemp offers our agricultural and manufacturing sectors,” Wilk said in a statement. “Hemp is used in 25,000 different products, so the opportunities are endless – especially for an area like the Antelope Valley, which has the perfect climate for hemp production.”

In 2018, with the passage of SB 1409 (Wilk), California streamlined industrial hemp production rules and became compliant with then-existing federal law. Subsequently, Congress passed – and the President signed – H.R.2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (farm bill) in December. This measure removed hemp from Schedule I controlled substances, making it an ordinary agricultural commodity.

State departments of agriculture are now required to consult with the state’s governor and chief law enforcement officer to devise a state plan on industrial hemp and submit it to the Secretary of the USDA for approval. A state’s plan to license and regulate hemp can only commence once the Secretary of USDA approves the plan. SB 153 ensures California is able to meet these requirements.

“Industrial hemp presents such a great opportunity for California,” Wilk said. “Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper, and Betsy Ross weaved the first flag out of hemp. Just imagine its possibilities today. With SB 153 now law, California is back in position to take advantage of the opportunities presented for our agricultural and manufacturing industries.”

wilk - A field of industrial hemp. | Photo: Evelyn Simak/WMC 2.0

A field of industrial hemp. | Photo: Evelyn Simak/WMC 2.0

In a message accompanying his veto of SB 202, Newsom said:

“I am returning Senate Bill 202 without my signature.

“This bill permits commercial blood banks for animals to collect blood from community-sourced animal blood and imposes rules around the collection of community-sourced animal blood.

“I am supportive of changing California’s law governing animal blood donation. However, this bill does not go far enough. I ask that the Legislature send me legislation that effectively leads to the phasing out of “closed colonies,” where dogs are kept in cages for months and years to harvest their blood for sale. The legislation should provide for the safe and humane treatment of donor animals, the welfare of the recipients and adequate oversight and enforcement of this program.”

Wilk was not immediately available to comment on the governor’s veto when SCVNews contacted his office late Monday morning.

“PETA thanks Sen. Scott Wilk, Social Compassion in Legislation, and all the greyhound guardians and other kind people who urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow lifesaving blood collections from animals who live in comfortable homes with their loving guardians,” Daniel Paden, vice president of evidence analysis for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“PETA’s visits to blood banks in California and beyond revealed that terrified dogs were kept in bleak cages for up to 23 hours a day, sometimes for life,” Paden said. “We will keep working in behalf of animals warehoused in this cruel and secretive industry. California is the only state that requires that these animals be held in captive colonies, despite the proven humane alternative.”

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