On Friday companion bills were introduced in California’s Senate and Assembly that would legalize hemp production in the state. Senate Bill 566, and Assembly Bill 1137 were filed by Democratic Senator Mark Leno, and Republican Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.
The measures makes note of the fact that the state imports “tens of thousands of acres’ worth of hemp seed, oil, and fiber products that could be produced by California farmers at a more competitive price.”
This measure comes at a critical time, as federal lawmakers in both chambers of America’s Legislature are discussing bipartisan legislation to end hemp prohibition.
Recent congressional research has shown hemp to be a market in America of over $400 million annually, and that hemp can be used to produce over 25,000 various products. Despite this, it remains illegal to actually grow hemp in the country, forcing us to import it from other nations.
The new California legislation does make a mistake (as with legislation filed in Minnesota this week), in that it sets the standard for hemp at 0.3% THC, whereas the North American Industrial Hemp Council rightfully declares hemp to contain up to 1% THC.
However, it’s certainly not a deal-breaker, and is something that can be worked on and amended later. The standard is what is traditionally used in countries like Canada that allow legal hemp production, and is workable, albeit not a limit that should be seen as the appropriate standard for legal hemp.
Voters in California are now tasked with looking up and contacting their elected officials, urging them to support these measures.