There could soon be another new crop for California. Governor Brown has signed the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which legalizes hemp farming under state law. Sabrina Hill reports.
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The bill ensures that California is prepared to begin registering hemp farmers once the federal government has given states the green light.
The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will establish a framework for farming the oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant, which are used in a variety of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, composites, building materials, and bio-fuels. Like with other crops, enforcement and oversight of hemp production would be by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and county agricultural commissioners.
Currently, more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export it to the United States. Hemp is the only crop that is illegal to grow at the federal level, but is legal for import into the U.S. Hemp is a relative to marijuana and contains a small amount of THC. It was therefore made a Schedule 1 drug back in the 1970s, thus it became illegal to grow the crop. However, it has such a small amount of THC, that it doesn’t produce a high.