Senate Bill 153 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, meaning the industrial hemp-related measure will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.
The bill, which is authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is 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, a news release stated Thursday. “A state’s plan to license and regulate hemp can only commence by complying with federal law.”
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 U.S. Department of Agriculture on or before Jan. 31, 2020.
“Industrial hemp is a natural fit for California’s arid climate and I am very glad to see this legislation moving forward. It means opportunity for farmers in the AV and mortgage paying jobs for others,” Wilk said in the release. “Hemp is used in 25,000 different products so it is likely the AV will see an uptick in the manufacturing of hemp-related products and farmers will water per acre by switching to it.”
On Friday, Wilk is scheduled to visit SoCal Farms, which is the first Los Angeles County farm approved to legally cultivate hemp.