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California Senate Approves Industrial Hemp Bill

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #786)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A bill that would set up provisions for growing industrial hemp in the Golden State passed the state Senate Tuesday on a unanimous vote. It now heads to the state Assembly.

Is the sun about to rise on California hemp? (
Hemp bills have passed out of the legislature in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011, only to fall prey to gubernatorial vetoes. Vetoes have come under both Democratic and Republican governors, with Gov. Jerry Brown vetoing the most recent bill because hemp production remains illegal under federal law.

The current bill, Senate Bill 566, was written to assuage the concerns Brown expressed in his 2011 veto message. It will not take effect until hemp production is authorized under federal law.

"The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will create new jobs and economic opportunities for many farmers and manufacturers across California," said sponsor Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). "Hundreds of consumer products containing hemp are made in the Golden State, but the manufacturers of these goods are forced to import hemp seed, oil, and fiber from growers in Canada, Europe, and China. This new bill is carefully crafted to eliminate conflicts with federal law and has the support of the California State Sheriffs' Association."

"The prospects for SB 566 are very good. Unlike past industrial hemp bills, this session's version does not go into effect until it is authorized by federal law," said Patrick Goggin, California legal counsel for the industry group Vote Hemp. "We feel confident that California will finally have an industrial hemp law later this year ensuring that California farmers are ready and able to cultivate hemp upon federal approval."

Domestic retail sales of hemp food and body care products reached $156 million last year, and the Hemp Industries Association estimates that all hemp products sales, including clothing, auto parts, and building materials, totaled at least $500 million.

Companies that use hemp in their products, such as Escondido-based Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, currently have to import it because of the federal ban on hemp production.

"Dr. Bronner's currently purchases twenty tons of hemp oil each year from Canada. We look forward to the day that we can meet our supply needs from hemp produced right here in our home state," said company president David Bronner.

Now, Bronner and other hemp entrepreneurs are one step closer to that day.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


High Plains Drifter (not verified)

Why is growing industrial hemp banned in the United States?  Isn't it a matter of state sovereignty (rights) to determine appropriate medical, as well as industrial use, of the plant?  Hasn't California notified the DEA that marijuana has accepted medical use in the United States, contrary to its classification in the federal Controlled Substances Act?  Would not removing marijuana from CSA's Schedule I, as a matter of administrative law, settle these questions?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:05am Permalink

No, as long as it appeared in any schedule of the CSA, growing hemp would be considered mfg. a controlled substance, and require federal licensure for same. It's not a ban, but the security requirements DEA has asked for in the past are said to be prohibitive for something taking up as much space as hemp farming. Practically speaking, it would only allow indoor grows on an experimental scale. The best thing for hemp growers to do would be to apply to DEA to have their hemp strains classified as exempt preparations because of their low THC content. There'd be a lot of paperwork and presentation of research results showing hemp to have a much lower potential for abuse than marijuana. Lot of consultant fees, probably. Maybe first have to get an experimental license for that indoor small scale grow to produce a pilot batch, and then show by experiment that volunteers can't get high smoking it.
Thu, 06/06/2013 - 11:22pm Permalink
DdC (not verified)

4th Annual Hemp History Week Begins!
June 3-9, 2013

image Every day more and more Americans discover the benefits of hemp. This ever-expanding market includes healthy food and body care products, as well as eco-friendly textiles, clothing, auto parts, and building materials. But despite hemp's growing popularity, outdated and misguided Federal policy prevents U.S. farmers from growing this versatile and eco-friendly crop.

It is past time for the recommercialization of industrial hemp for American consumers and farmers.

As more and more Americans embrace the health and environmental benefits of hemp products, hemp farming and processing promises economic opportunity for farmers and manufacturers.

Now in its fourth year, Hemp History Week is a nation-wide education campaign and marketing program that seeks to renew strong support for hemp farming in the U.S. while raising awareness about the benefits of hemp products. The 4th Annual campaign will include grass-roots events across the country, nationwide retail promotions, a day of action, and a national restaurant program.

Hemp Is the Feature In Bringing It Home Documentary

The film covers the history of hemp and its myriad industrial applications as well as efforts to recommercialize it in the US.  Bringing It Home explores in part why a crop with so many widespread benefits cannot be farmed in the U.S. today, and examines how hemp is grown in other countries to make thousands of eco-friendly products.

Check out the trailer and visit, to find a local screening in your community this Hemp History Week.  For friends of ours in San Diego, we hope you'll join us and the directors of Bringing It Home at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens - Escondido on June 5 at 7pm . You'll also get a chance to try their new Stone Hoppy Brownie Ale they are brewing especially for Hemp History Week!

youtube Hemp History Week June 3-9, 2013  promoting Hemp: Our Heritage, Our Future will be held June 3-9, 2013. More information at:

The 4th Annual Hemp History Week
will be held the week of June 3-9, 2013

It is time for Federal policy on industrial hemp to reflect today's reality and ensure a better tomorrow for America's families and farmers, the economy and our planet.

Join natural products pioneers, leading retail stores, health and wellness advocates and citizens across the nation in celebrating Hemp: Our Heritage, Our Future.

Send President Obama and Congress a message: Hemp for a Healthy Future. Sign the petition to allow U.S. farmers to grow hemp. >> Learn More

We're helping to host hundreds of events nationwide and you're invited! Explore the state-by-state listing of grassroots celebrations and participating retailers. >> Learn More

Check out what is being said about industrial hemp in America and Hemp History Week.

Show your support for hemp farming and Hemp History Week by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

Did You Know?

    * Industrial hemp has been grown in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in early 1600's.
    * The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.
    * George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew hemp and actively advocated for commercial hemp production.
    * Hemp was a staple crop of 1800's American agriculture, reflected in town names like "Hempfield" and "Hempstead."
    * Hemp was handled by the U.S. government like any other agricultural crop. More than 150,000 acres of hemp were cultivated as a part of the USDA's "Hemp for Victory" program during WWII.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Let's Create Hemp History! June 3, 2013

Today marks the start of the 4th annual Hemp History Week (June 3-9). Dr. Bronner's is proud to be a founding sponsor and we hope you'll join us at one of the 870 events taking place nation-wide this week.

In this issue of the All-One News we give you a preview of some of the highlights including a new documentary Bringing It Home that's premiering this week. Bringing It Home explores the ongoing efforts to bring hemp farming back to the US and the extensive eco-friendly uses for the plant.

We've been amazed at the outpouring of support for legalizing hemp! Over 10,000 emails and calls have been made to our U.S. Senators in the last week encouraging them to support Sen. Wyden's hemp amendment to the Farm Bill, which we expect will be voted on this week. We have made our voices heard loud and clear in Washington that it's time to bring back hemp farming and end the ridiculous federal prohibition. Key Senate leaders including Sen. Leahy and Sen. McConnell are now advocating for this change in federal law but all Senators need to hear our message. Please call or email your Senators today to urge them to support Sen. Wyden's industrial hemp amendment!

Let's not forget the good men in your life who deserve some appreciation this Father's Day. Check out our sale on organic and fair trade shaving gels and bar soaps all month in their honor. Finally, we've also got an update about how you can hook up with Dr. Bronner's Magic Foam Experience this summer and a  fabulous new hemptella (yes, hemptella) recipe from my sister-in-law Erin Bronner.

David Bronner, President
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Through Hemp History Week 2013, we will:

    * Celebrate America's rich hemp history and educate the public about current hemp markets in the United States.
    * Advocate for federal policy change to allow US farmers to grow this versatile and profitable crop.
    * Engage consumers by showcasing the range of hemp products available and the benefits that they provide.

The 4th Annual Hemp History Week will take place the week of June 3-9. Please get involved to show your support and celebrate Hemp: Our History, Our Future!
FoamExperienceAre You Foam Experienced?

For a few years now Dr. Bronner's has blown people away with the "ALL-ONE-ARK Interblastive Foam Experience," now called "The Magic Foam Experience." This ridiculously fun project honors Jim Bronner's pioneering work in developing the world's top firefighting foam as well as cool fake snow for Hollywood. The Magic Foam Experience is about good old clean fun. We bought a used fire truck, built a giant bathtub and assembled an amazing foam crew that brings it like pros every time.  Our small crew can efficiently blast 5000 people with foam in a single day, and because Dr. Bronner's soap is so biodegradable, we've been invited to numerous outdoor camping festivals to do just that. Over the past year our Magic Foam Experience has focused on events near our home base in Southern California. Check out some of photos on our Facebook page, and join us at an upcoming event.  Videos and more info can be found at


Hemplastic or Fossil Fools Crud

Got Hemp?


Billion Dollar Crop:
The history and advantages of hemp as an industrial fiber

Hempology 101 visits the Hemp Fields

Medical Marijuana for Autism - KPTV 12

Hemp History Week 2012

The Power of Hemp and its countless uses


THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?

D8-B Hemp Decorticator Demonstration

Industrial Hemp - School Documentary

Kentucky Senate Committee Passes Hemp Bill

Industrial Hemp production basics for Ontario

Hemp for the industry

Hemp History Week 2011
Hemp Harvest Video at Whole Foods Market in New York City

Hempcrete House - Asheville, NC

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 6:40am Permalink

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