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Cali InduHemp Act Passes Public Safety Commission March 30, 2007 12:28 PM

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act passed out of the California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday by a vote of 5-2. Introduced on February 21, 2007, AB 684 is a bill that would let farmers grow industrial hemp without state or federal licenses. The two authors of the bill, Reps. Mark Leno and Chuck DeVore, spoke eloquently and convincingly at the hearing, as did John Roulac of Nutiva and Patrick Goggin of the Hemp Industries Association. This is the beginning of the process to get AB 684 on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk by the end of summer.

California is an important state for many reasons. It has a large media presence, a huge agricultural capacity, an excellent transportation system, and a large base of environmentally-aware consumers. Newspapers in farming regions have published editorials in support of hemp farming, as have those in both more conservative and more liberal regions of the state. Hemp is truly a bi-partisan issue that touches people of many persuasions.

You can make a difference and help get this bill passed and hemp growing in the state once again. If you are from California, please take a few minutes now to write your Senator and Assemblymember and ask them to support AB 684, The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act.

We also ask that you please make a contribution to Vote Hemp today to help us continue our work in the important state of California.

If you enjoy reading hemp news that goes beyond legal and legislative updates, you can subscribe to our Weekly News Update by clicking the "Update Profile/Email Address" link in the footer below and adding "Weekly News Update" to your Email List Options. And now you can read all of our Weekly News Updates online in our new Archive. For a sample of the type of stories covered, read the two recent editorials below.


Eric Steenstra
Vote Hemp

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 December 12, 2006 1:42 PM

Hemp: California Governor Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) last Friday vetoed a bill that would have allowed California farmers to grow industrial hemp. Sponsored by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Assembly Bill 1147 would have defined industrial hemp as an agricultural crop, limited its THC content to less than 0.3%, and mandated annual testing of fields to ensure content limits are met.
(courtesy Independent Media Center)
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said the measure conflicted with federal law and would have made it more difficult for law enforcement to monitor illicit marijuana crops. While he acknowledged recent successful court battles waged by the hemp industry, Schwarzenegger said "no court has specifically ruled that a live cannabis plant is a non-controlled substance or that farming these plants is not a regulated activity. As a result, it would be improper to approve a measure that directly conflicts with current federal statutes and court decisions. This only serves to cause confusion and reduce public confidence in our government system."

Schwarzenegger fell for the standard US police excuse that allowing hemp production would make it more difficult to stop outdoor marijuana grows: "Finally," he said, "California law enforcement has expressed concerns that implementation of this measure could place a drain on their resources and cause significant problems with drug enforcement activities. This is troubling given the needs in this state for the eradication and prevention of drug production."

Oddly enough, police in countries where hemp farming is a legal and productive part of the economy don't seem to have any problem distinguishing between industrial hemp and marijuana.

The hemp industry was not pleased. "Gov. Schwarzenegger's veto is a letdown for thousands of farmers, business people, and consumers that want to bring back industrial hemp to California to create jobs, new tax income and to benefit the environment," said Eric Steenstra, founder and President of Vote Hemp, the nation's leading industrial hemp farming advocacy group, in a Monday press release denouncing the veto. "The veto was not based on facts but instead an irrational fear he would look soft on drugs in an election year. His veto message shows he knew industrial hemp is an economic development and agriculture issue, but he instead allowed himself to be cowed by confused drug war lobbyists. AB 1147 would have reigned in the overreach by federal authorities that has prevented non-drug industrial hemp varieties of cannabis from be being grown on US soil for fiber and seed. It is disingenuous to cite federal restrictions when drug war lobbyists refuse to sit down with the large coalition of farmers, business people and environmentalists who crafted the industrial hemp legislation. Industrial hemp will continue to be the only crop that is legal to import, sell and consume, but illegal to grow, in California."

"It's unfortunate that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1147. We had looked forward to the hemp oil and seed in our products being grown and produced right here in California," said David Bronner, chair of the Hemp Industries Association Food and Oil Committee and president of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "Farmers in California, like farmers all across the United States, are always looking for profitable crops like hemp to add to their rotation. This veto clearly points out why HR 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, needs to be passed on the federal level."

Seven states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia) have now changed their laws to give farmers an affirmative right to grow industrial hemp commercially or for research purposes. But the bill Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed differs from those laws. In those seven states, the laws require a DEA license to grow the crop, one the agency is historically reluctant to provide. The California bill would have explicitly provided that the federal government has no basis or right to interfere with industrial hemp in California.

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Has there Been a Conclusion? November 09, 2006 8:55 AM

So....? Do we know yet if growing industrial hemp is legal in CA yet? If not, when will we know? Anything we can do to help?  [ send green star]
AB 1147 Heads to Final Votes in August August 13, 2006 1:04 AM

AB 1147, The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, as final Senate and Assembly votes are expected in August. This landmark bipartisan legislation would establish guidelines for farming the non-psychoactive plant used in a wide variety of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts and bio-fuel.

For full text, click


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Hemp Bill Passes Senate! June 27, 2006 10:44 AM


Dear Sharon,

Good news from California! AB 1147, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The bill now goes to the Senate Committee on Agriculture for a hearing this Thursday, June 29. This is just one day before June 30, the last day for policy committees to meet and vote on bills. If you are a farmer interested in testifying before the committee, please contact Alexis Baden- Mayer at immediately.

Progress is also being made in North Dakota, the first state to take action to implement a hemp farming law. On the 15th, Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson held a hearing on the department's proposed rules for licensing farmers to grow industrial hemp under state law.

An official sponsor of the California bill and the impetus behind North Dakota's recent decision to implement its 1999 hemp farming law, Vote Hemp is the moving force of pro-hemp policy.

Thanks again for your ongoing support!


Eric Steenstra
Vote Hemp

Which state will be the first to grow hemp?
  • CA: Leno-Devore Bill Passes Senate Committee
  • ND: Farmers urge lifting ban on industrial hemp
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    CA Hemp Bill Passes Committee January 11, 2006 9:49 PM

    I want you to be the first to know that Assembly Bill 1147, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, made it over a big hurdle yesterday when it passed out of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. Supporters like you have been working with Vote Hemp to pass AB 1147 since it was introduced last February. I need to ask you to take action now to push the Assembly Committee on Appropriations to move the bill to the floor. I hope that you and everyone who wants to see industrial hemp grown in California will take a moment to tell your Assembly Member to vote for AB 1147. Once you've taken action, notify others Californians who could help by scrolling down to the bottom of the page to click "Forward email."

    Eric Steenstra
    President, Vote Hemp

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    Contact State Senator and Assembly Person TODAY 1/10/06 January 10, 2006 3:14 AM

    Talking points:

    Industrial Hemp Legislation to Cultivate, Study and Support

    Industrial Hemp is currently legal to grow in more than 30 countries including Canada, Germany, England, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, China, Hungary and Romania. For more information on where hemp is being grown today, click here.

    Many U.S. states have passed legislation to grow, study or request changes in U.S. government policy on industrial hemp. To date, twenty-six states have introduced hemp legislation and fourteen have passed legislation; six (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research.

    Hawaii has not only passed hemp legislation allowing for hemp trials but has actually planted the first legal hemp crop since the 1950s! The Hawaii Industrial Hemp Research Project was authorized for research under the direction of Dr. Dave West. It has since been closed due to DEA shenanigans and problems renewing the DEA permit.

    For the first time since the federal government outlawed hemp farming in the United States, a federal bill has been introduced that would remove restrictions on the cultivation of non-psychoactive industrial hemp. H.R. 3037, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005," was written with the help of Vote Hemp by chief sponsor Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), and several original co-sponsors have already signed on. The bill defines industrial hemp and assigns authority over it to the states, allowing laws in those states regulating the growing and processing of industrial hemp to take effect.

    For more information and a complete summary of state and federal hemp legislation, click here to visit the Vote Hemp Web site.



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    Up tomorrow 1/10/06 January 10, 2006 2:47 AM

    AB 1147
    Page 1

              Date of Hearing:   January 10, 2006
              Counsel:                Kimberly Horiuchi

                             ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                      Mark Leno, Chair

                        AB 1147 (Leno) - As Amended:  January 5, 2006

    :   Clarifies the definition of "marijuana" contained in 
              the Uniformed Controlled Substance Act (CSA) to exclude 
              industrial hemp.  Specifically, this bill :

              1)Defines "industrial hemp" as an agricultural field crop 
                limited to the non-psychoactive varieties of the of the plant 
                Cannabis sativa L., having no more than three-tenths of 1% 
                tetrahydrocannabinol contained in the dry flowering tops and 
                cultivated from seeds originating in California, and processed 
                exclusively for the purpose of producing the mature stalks of 
                the plant and by-products of the stalk and seed.

              2)States that nothing in this section shall be construed to 
                authorize the cultivation, production, or possession of resin, 
                flowering tops, or leaves that have been removed from the 
                field of cultivation and separated from the other constituent 
                parts of the industrial hemp plant.

              3)Prohibits the transportation and/or sale of a seed capable of 
                germination across state lines of any variety of Cannabis 
                sativa L and any cultivation of the industrial hemp plant that 
                is not grown in a research setting or as an agricultural field 

              EXISTING LAW :

              1)Provides that "marijuana" is all parts of the plant Cannabis 
                sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the 
                resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every 
                compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or 
                preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.  It does not 
                include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from 
                the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any 
                other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or 
                preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted  [ send green star]
    California Legislation January 04, 2006 6:42 AM

    California has a hearing next week 1/10/6 relating to Hemp bill AB 1147 

    If any one would like to track this let us know what happens. 

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