California Senate Approves Hemp Bill

UPDATE 9/27/2013 - Governor Brown signed the bill into law.

SACRAMENTO, Sept 11th - The State Senate unanimously passed Sen. Mark Leno's industrial hemp bill, SB 566.

The bill would exclude hemp with THC content <0.3% from the definition of marijuana when cultivated for industrial purposes, and would regulate its cultivation under the state Dept of Food and Agriculture.

In an important stipulation, the bill would not become operative until "authorized under federal law" as determined by the state Attorney General. This condition was designed to win support from Gov. Brown, who vetoed a hemp bill last year on grounds that it conflicted with federal law.

Republicans joined Democrats in approving the hemp bill. Republican Allen Mansoor of Costa Mesa sponsored a parallel bill in the State Assembly.