SB-153, A Bill Regulating Hemp Cultivation in California, Heads To The Governor’s Desk for Signature

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SB-153, a bill regulating production of industrial hemp, is officially engrossed and enrolled, which means it is headed for Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature.  

After being signed into law, SB-153 will govern hemp cultivation and testing in California.

Key Provisions of SB-153 Include:

  • Set registration requirements for hemp production.
  • Revise the provisions regulating the cultivation and testing of hemp to conform with the requirements for a state plan under the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Expand and change the membership of the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board to include more industry stakeholders.
  • Require the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Governor and the Attorney General, to develop and submit a state plan to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, on or before the 2020 planting season.
  • Establish penalties for non-compliance with SB-153’s provisions and California’s yet to be drafted state plan.

Important Caveat For SB-153’s Provisions

It is important to keep in mind that a number of SB-153’s provisions may become null and void following White House approval of the USDA’s interim final rules on hemp production, which include testing, cultivation, and transportation provisions.

The USDA rules, however, only set a minimum which States must follow. Pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, States may enact and enforce laws regulating the production of hemp that are more stringent than federal law (e.g., States may prohibit hemp cultivation altogether, though they may not prohibit hemp passing through their borders).

In other words, depending on what minimums the USDA sets, SB-153 may be preempted.  Check back here for analysis of the USDA rules once published and their effect on SB-153.

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