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California Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill For Second Time


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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 Schwarzenegger for his signature. The text of the legislation can be found at: Vote Hemp: Information: Political: Legislation: State: California.

AB 684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, 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 bipartisan hemp farming bill has passed the legislature. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1147. The new version of the bill responds to 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% THC," says Vote Hemp legal counsel 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 effort to be leader on US 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 Imperial, Kings, Mendocino, and Yolo counties. Hemp is a versatile plant that is taking off as an organic food and body care ingredient. Imports from Canada of hemp foods grew 300% between 2006 and 2007. Today more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export it to the US. Hemp is the only crop that is both illegal to grow and legal for Americans to import.

There is strong support for hemp in California. A telephone poll of likely California voters, taken from February 22 - 26, showed a total of 71% (+/- 3.5%) supporting changes to state law allowing 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(R), French Meadow Bakery(R), Living Harvest(R), Nature's Path Organic Foods(R) and Nutiva(R).

Poll questions and results regarding industrial hemp farming policy and consumer attitudes on hemp products and nutrition can be viewed online at: Vote Hemp: Information: General: Archives: Polls.

More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses can be found at Industrial Hemp Information and Advocacy - Vote Hemp.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Earthtimes.org
Author: VoteHemp.com
Contact: The Earth Times - feedback
Copyright: 2007 Earthtimes.org
Website: California Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill for Second Time in Two Years - Press Release
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