Newsom signs Wilk’s hemp measure, vetoes ‘doggy donor’ bill

Sen. Scott Wilk

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed state Sen. Scott Wilk’s Senate Bill 153 that ensures California law is in full compliance with changes to federal law regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp, but vetoed his doggy donor blood measure. 

In consultation with the governor and the attorney general, SB 153 requires the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop a state plan on industrial hemp to be sent to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture no later than May 1, 2020. 

“SB 153 opens the door for California to take full advantage of the exciting opportunities industrial hemp offers our agricultural and manufacturing sectors,” Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said in a statement. “Hemp is used in 25,000 different products, so the opportunities are endless — especially for an area like the Antelope Valley, which has the perfect climate for hemp production.”

A state plan to license and regulate hemp, after being devised and submitted to the USDA, can only commence once the department approves the plan. SB 153 aims to ensure that California meets the necessary requirements. 

The bill did not receive opposition when in the state legislative process. 

‘Doggy donor’ measure vetoed 

Senate Bill 202, known as the “doggy donor bill,” did not receive the governor’s signature. 

The measure, which Wilk introduced in early April, aimed to provide more flexibility to the rules on animal-blood donation to help create humane facilities where individuals could donate plasma from their pets. The bill would have required applicants to operate a commercial blood bank “with current standards of care and practice for the field of veterinary transfusion medicine,” the bill analysis reads.

On returning SB 2020 without his signature, Newsom said in a statement that the bill “does not go far enough,” asking that the Legislature “send me legislation that effectively leads to the phasing out of ‘closed colonies,’ where dogs are kept in cages for months and years to harvest their blood for sale. The legislation should provide for the safe and humane treatment of donor animals, the welfare of the recipients and adequate oversight and enforcement of this program.”

Wilk was unavailable Monday for comment. 

In a message thanking Wilk, Daniel Paden, vice president of the People for the Ethical Treament of Animals, said PETA’s visit to state blood banks showed “that terrified dogs were kept in bleak cages for up to 23 hours a day, sometimes for life. We will keep working in behalf of animals warehoused in this cruel and secretive industry.”  

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