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For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 28, 2005

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-232-8997, 202-744-2671

California Assembly Agriculture Committee Puts Industrial Hemp Bill on Two-Year Track
Thousands of State Businesses, Organizations, Individuals Backing Legislation

SACRAMENTO, CA — Yesterday the California Assembly Agriculture Committee declined to bring to a vote the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, AB 1147, putting the bill on a two-year track. Any future hearing this year on the bill that would have reintroduced industrial hemp farming to California agriculture will be at the discretion of the Chair of the Agriculture Committee. Activism and organizing on the issue will continue.

Many California hemp business owners and supporters testified in support of AB 1147 and were introduced by Assemblyman Mark Leno. Speakers included: David Bronner, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, based in Escondido, San Diego County; Candi Penn, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association, based in Sonoma County; Vanessa Bogenholm, VB Farms, Chair of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF); and Dr. Gero Leson, Principal, Leson & Associates, Berkeley, CA. No opponents of the bill testified before the committee.

“California farmers are always looking for new crops. AB 1147 will enable them to meet the rising intrastate market for hemp created by the growing number of California businesses that make and sell hemp-based foods, fibers and cosmetic products,” Vote Hemp’s Sacramento lobbyist Michael Greene says. “The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will enable California businesses to buy hemp grown by California farmers rather than importing hemp from Canada, Europe, China and the many other hemp-producing countries.”

Thousands of local businesses, organizations, individuals and farmers are backing new industrial hemp legislation that would give California farmers the right to grow low-THC varieties of hemp. Supporters of AB 1147 include: 1,300 members of the California Certified Organic Farmers; 199,546 members of the Sierra Club of California; City and County of San Francisco; Vote Hemp; 200 member companies of the Hemp Industries Association; North American Industrial Hemp Council; 50,000 California members of the Organic Consumers Association; Organic Ad Advisors; Alterna; Nutiva; Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps; Knoll Farms; Rainforest Action Network; Environmental Wholesale Products; Sweetgrass Natural Fibers; Hempy’s; Hemp Traders; Heartsong Herbal Brewing Company; Burcaw Chiropractic; Robinson’s Health Products; Luvland Farms Lavender; Alice’s Mountain Market; CDM Corp; Heavenly Low Carb; PAD; J. Ginsberg & Associates; LivingFoods.com; Eagle Trust Union; Center for Healing; New Hope Natural Media; Salon Charisma; Whole Balance; Raw 4 Real; Hemp Sisters; Malu Healthcare; The Living Temple; StrictlyHemp.com; Eco Goods; French Meadow Bakery; and EnvironGentle.

In 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration did not have the authority to regulate the sale of hemp food products. AB 1147 would be the first legislation since this court victory to clarify that California state law allows growing of hemp within the state of California.

Visit www.VoteHemp.com to learn more about state legislation. For more information or to arrange interviews with representatives of the hemp industry, please call Adam Eidinger at 202-232-8997.

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