Senate bill looks to bolster industrial hemp industry

Sen. Scott Wilk

Legislation seeking to revise California’s regulations regarding the cultivation and testing of industrial hemp passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture Monday.

Senate Bill 153 was authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, in an attempt to ensure California is well positioned to begin the cultivation of industrial hemp by conforming the state’s regulatory rules to the requirements outlined in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, according to a news release.

Specifically, SB 153 requires the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to consult with the governor and attorney general to develop and submit a state plan to the secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture on or before Jan. 31, 2020.

“I am very pleased to see SB 153 moving with bipartisan support. Industrial hemp is a natural fit for California’s arid climate. Farmers in the Antelope Valley will be able to save 5 acre-feet of water per acre by switching to it,” Wilk said in Monday’s release. “Industrial hemp is used in 25,000 different products. With the increased production of hemp, it is likely California will also see an uptick in the manufacturing of these hemp-related products. This means good jobs and a host of other benefits to our region.”

The senator mentioned the bill will head to the Senate Appropriations Committee next, and added, “The ability to grow and compete in the industrial hemp industry is a big win for our local farmers.”

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.