BREAKING NEWS: California Hemp Laws Get Revamped

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On October 12, 2019, Governor Newsom announced that he had signed SB-153, a bill aimed at generating important alterations to California’s hemp cultivation law. As I’ve written prior to, the bill is a big alter for California hemp laws for the following factors:

  • The bill adds a new definition of “industrial hemp”.  There are now separate (and slightly distinct) definitions for hemp commonly beneath the California Overall health and Security Code, and now beneath the Meals and Agriculture Code relative just to hemp cultivation.
  • California is expected to submit a 2018 Farm Bill-compliant hemp production strategy to the U.S. Division of Agriculture by May well 2020. This is expected beneath federal law, in order for states to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill. We nonetheless are awaiting USDA regulations to see how the submission method will operate, but CA is now locked into submitting a strategy.
  • SB-153 narrows the scope of who qualifies as an established agricultural study institution (“EARIs”) to be far more constant with federal law.  Beneath present California hemp cultivation laws, the definition of EARIs is substantially broader than beneath federal law. SB-153 will, when the USDA approves of CA’s hemp production strategy, narrow the scope of who qualifies as an EARI to be constant with federal law.
  • California mandates registration for industrial and non-industrial growers who don’t qualify as EARIs. Previously, only industrial growers have to register. These modifications, in mixture with the narrowed definition of EARIs, need that some present hemp cultivators who qualify as EARIs will then want to register as non-industrial cultivators.
  • California now also mandates registration for EARIs and need them to submit “research plans” to their regional county agricultural commissioner that detail what their cultivation operations will appear like. This is a brand new notion that was not incorporated in the original California Industrial Hemp Farming Act and is most likely going to be a big alter for cultivators across the state operating beneath study memoranda of understanding with EARIs.
  • SB-153 creates enforcement provisions, penalties for false statements on applications, and a bar on persons from becoming a component of the industrial hemp plan if they had a conviction relating to controlled substances in the prior 10-year period.
  • SB-153 clarifies that hemp cannot be cultivated in a licensed cannabis premises, but that if it is, it will be regarded cannabis.

Now that SB-153 is the law, hemp companies across the state will want to adjust how they operate to guarantee compliance with the law. It is not clear from SB-153’s text when particular components take impact, and we do not but have any official guidance by the California Division of Meals and Agriculture (which regulates hemp cultivators) on compliance, so compliance may perhaps be a mess—as usual. Keep tuned to the Canna Law Weblog for far more California hemp cultivation updates.

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