U.S. associations critical of proposed hemp bill in California

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National and state hemp groups in the USA have stated their opposition to a proposed hemp bill for California they say “would be unnecessarily damaging (and seemingly spiteful) to hemp farmers, manufacturers and retailers.”

The National Hemp Association and the California Hemp Association said the measure, Assembly Bill 45, sponsored by Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat lawmaker, should be amended.

The associations drew particular attention to a clause in the bill that seeks to ban smokable hemp without placing similar restrictions on marijuana, noting they “do not seek a similar ban on smokable marijuana in California but must oppose the denial of equal protection for hemp farmers who simply seek to continue selling their most profitable product to California and national consumers.”

Hemp vs. tobacco

The groups also said the measure’s inferred conflation of hemp with tobacco “is tantamount to libel since there is no legitimate research proving its effects are similar to the untold death and suffering caused by tobacco use.”

In addition to banning smokable hemp flowers, AB45 would also outlaw CBD vapes and pens, hemp in beer, wine or spirits, and alcohol-based tinctures.

The associations suggested specific language for amendment of the bill in letters sent to to Aguiar-Curry, the state’s Assembly Health Committee, and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Governor Newsom, hopefully, will join us given his tenuous, political position. He needs the support of hemp farmers and consumers in his forthcoming recall election,” the hemp groups said.

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