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California eyes hemp reforms with water conservation as the top priority


Source - Wikimedia Commons

Far and wide across the United States, businesses and consumers are clamoring for state and federal protections for their hemp and CBD products.


In California, this has taken a very specific shape given the state’s continued struggles with water scarcity and drought. Hemp is widely considered to use far less water than other textiles and cash crops, beating out cotton and using about half as much water as the production of polyester.


Unlike these, however, hemp can be grown for the lucrative and growing CBD industry in addition to more traditional textile use.


California currently has two bills moving through its state legislature which would legalize hemp growing and the use of CBD additives and supplements at the state level. [1]


These bills, which are expected to pass the California Legislature, make the state one in a growing trend of states looking to either liberalize or crack down on hemp regulations in the first session since the federal government legalized hemp in December.


“It’s going to be incredibly important for California agriculture,” state Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), told the LA Times. “A lot of farmers are going to quit what they’re doing and grow hemp.” [1]


Oddly enough, the California government legalized the growth of hemp way back in 2013 pending some federal measure that would do the same. Growing didn’t take place outside of pilot projects with special research allowances, and the federal legalization didn’t come until 2018.


That’s why one of the bills in the California Legislature put forth by Wilk is meant to consolidate the state-wide rules to match the 2018 Farm Bill. “So farmers are ready to go with hemp, but California is not yet in compliance with the federal farm act,” he told the LA Times. [1]


Across California, regulatory confusion has led to the sorts of health department crackdowns on different stores’ inventories of CBD food and drink products, in accordance with the national trend this year. [2]


Plus, certain counties within California still view hemp as anathema. They are adopting their own measures to ban it outright, which seems odd given California’s relatively long relationship with medical and recreational marijuana. [2]


Even as California and plenty of other states are pressing to protect CBD and hemp within their state laws, backslides like this have also been happening.


In Minnesota particularly, Governor Tim Walz recently signed into law the Health and Human Services omnibus spending bill, which included overreaching labelling provisions for CBD products that required greater specificity than many third-party labs can currently muster. [3]


While ostensibly aimed at safety, when the bill goes into effect it very well undercut much of the competition that would beget safety and accountability within the CBD market by pricing out all but the most corporate pharmaceutical CBD providers.


As Americans continue to fight for the right to consumer CBD and other hemp and cannabis products, keep an eye on the Nothing But Hemp blog for more news.


Sources

[1] https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-cbd-hemp-california-legislation-20190603-story.html

[2] https://www.canorml.org/fda-holds-hearing-on-cbd-as-ca-moves-forward-on-hemp/

[3] https://blogs.mprnews.org/capitol-view/2019/05/walz-signs-state-budget-bills/

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