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California Updates, Expands Industrial Hemp Rules

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law State Bill 1409 which updates California’s industrial hemp laws to be in line with federal rules and allows farmers in the state to produce seed, oil, fiber, and extract, according to The Signal.

SB 1409 updates the definition of “industrial hemp” in the state to differentiate it from cannabis and allow farmers to also produce non-intoxicating extracts from the plant. The law is designed to complement the expected federal legalization of industrial hemp, though that change is currently stalled in committee with the 2018 Farm Bill.

“This is a big win for our local farmers, and it’s going to revolutionize agriculture. Just last night, I got a text from a local farmer who is converting his fields to local hemp. I heard from a battery manufacturer (who uses hemp fiber in battery production) who secured a 15,000-square-foot building, thanks to the bill.” — State Sen. Scott Wilk, bill author, via The Signal

California’s expanded hemp laws will go into effect January 1, 2019. Proponents of industrial hemp also hope to see the 2018 Farm Bill finally out of committee by that point as well, allowing California’s new hemp economy to become interstate.

Currently, work requirements for federal food assistance in the U.S. House version of the farm bill are most contentious, holding the bill back in this contentious environment that is the run-up to the interim elections.

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