California Industrial Hemp Bill: Senate Gives SB 566 A Unanimous High-Five

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“If it babbles and its eyeballs are glazed, it probably comes from California.” – Mike Royko

Gov. Brown and the roots of progress: could a wasted resource come back online? Will “Gov. Moonbeam” allow California’s chronic fiscal hole be filled with hemp dollars? Republican and Democratic senators alike hopped on-board the hemp train last week; with just two more political hurdles to go (Assembly and Gov’s signature) – industrialized hemp could soon be a reality for the Golden State.

But I wouldn’t hold my bong hit… Bearing in mind that Gov. Brown vetoed the Senate’s last attempt at cultivating reasonable industrialized hemp legislation. Brown’s failed logic for his 2011 betrayal, was primarily based on hemp being included in the controlled substance act, and banned under federal law.

Bending to the concerns of Gov. Brown, California Senate Bill 566 opted for carefully chosen verbiage, so as not to upset the somewhat paranoid Gov. In its current incarnation SB 566 would not allow for the industrial cultivation of hemp to proceed until it has been removed from the controlled substance act, and is no longer a federally prohibited substance.

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To be clear, industrial hemp encompasses a broad spectrum of varieties within the Cannabis sativa world. The primary component that these varieties all share in common, is that they are genetically predisposed to have lowered THC levels, generally less than 1%.

The hemp seed has been utilized for thousands of years in both agricultural and industrial products. Hemp and its seed – have historically been cultivated for the potential derivatives of both their seed and fiber. Should California legalize industrial hemp cultivation, it would result in additional revenue streams for their farmers. Open up new research opportunities for hemp-based fuels, potentially lowering California’s dependency on petroleum – with eco-friendly hemp seed oil. Leaving a smaller carbon footprint in the creation of many products.

As California teeters on the financial cliff, hemp could easily help the politicians dig their way out. The total reported domestic retail sales for hemp-based products in 2011 was $152 million – and a staggering $500 million worldwide. Should the good governor like to prove himself fiscally responsible, he should approve SB 566 [should it get to his desk] and allow California’s farmers to grab their chunk of that worldwide market.

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About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.