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Citing Federal Pressure, Gov Brown Vetos California Hemp Production Bill


Industrial hempGov. Jerry Brown today vetoed legislation that would have permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp in California, though the Democratic governor didn’t seem pleased about it.

Introduced by Senator Mark Leno, SB 676 would have created an 8-year pilot program to allow industrial hemp farming in four California counties: Kern, Kings, Imperial, and San Joaquin. This is the third time in ten years that the California legislature has passed a hemp farming bill. However, SB 676 is further refined than previous bills and had significant support from businesses, farming groups, local governments, labor unions, and even law enforcement.

In a veto message, Brown said federal law considers industrial hemp to be a regulated, controlled substance, and that failure to obtain a federal permit would subject California farmers to federal prosecution.

jerry brown“Although I am not signing this measure, I do support a change in federal law,” Brown said in a veto message. “Products made from hemp – clothes, food, and bath products – are legally sold in California every day. It is absurd that hemp is being imported into the state, but our farmers cannot grow it.”

After moving smoothly through the California legislature with bi-partisan support, the landmark legislation was sent to the Governor for signature and would have established guidelines for farming the non-psychoactive plant that is used in a wide variety of every day consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, building materials and bio-fuel.

California businesses spend millions of dollars each year importing hemp from Canada, China and Europe. Demand for hemp products has been growing rapidly in recent years. It is estimated that the U.S. hemp market now exceeds an estimated $419 million in annual retail sales. From natural soaps to healthy foods, there is a large variety of “Made in California” hemp products that could greatly benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed, fiber and oil.


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  1. The thing about the federal drug law is that the way that’s it’s worded it can be used to prosecute and threaten ANYONE who has anything to do with Cannabis. It seems like the governor is just scared of the feds. It just seems like if the governor of California can’t get a hemp bill signed, who can? How can we the People get Cannabis changed at the federal level so we don’t have to spend any more time or $ on fighting a plant that was grown by several of our presidents. It was actually strongly encouraged by the government to grow “Hemp for Victory” during world war 2.

  2. BonnieJeanneTonks on

    Wow, seems California again bends over so the feds can continue their misguided War on Drugs. To cripple an industry that can provide jobs, that can produce a product we can only import, makes NO sense. Why can’t Brown just give the feds the big middle finger and do it anyway? To make it more difficult, pass a law that forces the feds to report to a sheriff and make it that much more difficult for them to do “their job.” Many states have tried to pass a law like this via a citizens referendum or initiative but there aren’t enough educated people who understand what’s going on. If California doesn’t stand up and do something the feds will continue to ride roughshod over it’s citizens, the one’s they cannot take care of and from whom they steal medicine. It’s time to tell them NO – STOP raping your citizens and your country. DO WHAT’S RIGHT – everyone (even some of the 1% if they get their heads out of their… you know) will benefit. Quit being such pussies and STAND UP TO THEM!

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