For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
CONTACT: Patrick Goggin 415-312-0084
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
California Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill for Second Time in Two Years
AB 684 Would Allow Farmers to Grow Non-Drug Varieties of Cannabis
New Compromise Legislation is Ripe for Governor's Support
— Last night, California's Senate and Assembly
each voted to approve AB
684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming
Act of 2007. The legislation gives some California
farmers the right to grow non-psychoactive industrial
hemp which is commonly used in everything from
food, clothing, paper and body care to bio-fuel
and even auto parts. The bill now goes to Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.
The text of the legislation can be found online.
AB 684 was authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine). Thanks to their leadership, this is the second time in two years that a bi-partisan hemp farming bill has passed the legislature. Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill, AB 1147. The new version of the bill addresses his concerns.
"The new legislation significantly limits the scope of hemp farming to just four agricultural counties, includes a sunset provision, and contains rules on testing crops to ensure the industrial hemp contains less than 3/10 of 1% (0.3%) THC," says Vote Hemp legal council and San Francisco attorney Patrick Goggin. "This bill is a response to the Governor's detailed explanation of his veto last year. Everyone knows hemp farming is consistent with California's efforts to be a leader on U.S. environmental policy. We believe this new hemp legislation is deserving of the Governor's signature," adds Goggin.
Farmers would only be able to grow industrial
hemp as a pilot program in four counties —
Imperial, Kings, Mendocino and Yolo. Sales of
industrial hemp products, especially in the food
and body care markets, are skyrocketing, prompting
the TODAY Show to dub hemp "a hot food trend"
for 2007. Exports from Canada of hemp seed grew
300% between 2006 and 2007. Today more than 30
industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and
export it to the U.S. Hemp is the only crop that
is illegal for American farmers to grow yet
legal to import.
There is strong support for hemp in California.
A telephone poll of likely California voters,
taken from February 22-26 of this year, showed
a total of 71% (+/- 3.5%) support changes to state
law that would allow farmers to grow hemp. The
survey was conducted by the respected research
firm Zogby International
on behalf of Vote Hemp and five manufacturers
of hemp food products, including ALPSNACK,
Meadow Bakery, Living
Path Organic Foods and Nutiva.
Poll questions and results regarding industrial hemp farming policy and consumer attitudes on hemp products and nutrition can be viewed online.
# # #
Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue,
non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance
of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp
and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers
to once again grow this agricultural crop. More
information about hemp legislation and the crop's
many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com
BETA SP or DVD Video News Releases featuring footage
of hemp farming in other countries are available
upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.