For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Patrick Goggin 415-312-0084 or Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Hemp Farming Bill Passes California
Vote Hemp Applauds Assembly
Leadership on AB 1147
Looks to Senate for Passage
SACRAMENTO, CA —
California business leaders and farmers are celebrating
today’s passage of AB 1147, which clarifies that
the cultivation of industrial hemp is legal on the condition
it contains no more than three tenths of one percent
(0.3%) tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC). AB 1147 passed with
a clear majority of 44 votes in favor and 32 against,
and the bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Final passage of AB 1147 could revitalize commercial
industrial hemp farming, which occurred in the state
up until shortly after World War II.
AB 1147 was introduced last February by
Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno and in recent months
was amended and jointly authored by Republican Assemblyman
Chuck Devore. “Industrial hemp is a bipartisan
agricultural issue whose time has come,” says
David Bronner, President of Dr.
Bronner’s Magic Soaps of Escondido which imports
hemp seed and oil from Canada and Europe for their soaps
and snack bars. “We spend hundreds of thousands
of dollars importing industrial hemp, so we think it
is time to give California farmers a chance to grow
it for us,” adds Bronner who is also a board member
of Vote Hemp.
From natural soaps to healthy foods, a
variety of “Made in California” hemp products
could benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed,
fiber and oil. According to the Hemp
Industries Association (HIA) there are over 50 member
businesses that make or sell hemp products in California.
Currently these businesses must import millions of dollars
of industrial hemp from countries such as Canada, China
and England. “We are very pleased that this bill
passed the Assembly and congratulate Mark Leno and Chuck
DeVore whose leadership was essential in passing this
bill,” says HIA President Steve Levine.
Additional credit for passage of AB 1147
goes to the Organic
Consumers Association, the Rainforest
Action Network and the California
Certified Organic Farmers, who mobilized their members
to support AB 1147.
If AB 1147 now passes the Senate and is
signed by the governor, California will join the six
other states that currently have laws removing barriers
to industrial hemp production or research (including
Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota and West
Virginia). To date, twenty-six state legislatures have
considered industrial hemp legislation and fourteen
have passed laws or resolutions, including the California
Assembly which in 1999 passed a resolution declaring
that “the Legislature should consider action to
revise the legal status of industrial hemp to allow
for its growth in California as an agricultural and
AB 1147 would not conflict with or be
pre-empted by federal law, nor would it interfere with
the enforcement of marijuana laws. It would only allow
farmers to produce the parts of the plant that are already
legal to import under state and federal law: industrial
hemp seed (and oil), fiber and woody core (hurds).
Nutritious Hemp Foods
Hemp seed is one of the most
perfect nutritional resources in all of nature.
In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed
meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an
easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency
ratio. But most importantly, hemp seed and oil offer
high concentrations of two essential fatty acids (EFA's
omega-3 and omega-6) in perfect balance. EFA's are the
“good fats” that doctors recommend as part
of a healthy, balanced diet.
BETA SP Video News Release featuring footage of hemp
farming in other countries is available upon request
by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.
More information about industrial hemp
may be found at www.VoteHemp.com
To read Assemblyman Mark Leno's official
press release, click here.