Contact: Eric Steenstra - (202) 681-4389

Governor Newsom Signs Hemp Legislation SB 153

California Hemp Industry Poised to Grow in 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization, and the California Hemp Council, the leading advocacy group representing the interests of the hemp industry in The Golden State, celebrate the passage of SB 153 in California, which updates California law to take full advantage of the 2018 Farm Bill hemp provisions. Governor Newsom signed the Vote Hemp and California Hemp Council sponsored legislation on Saturday, October 12, 2019, and the law will go into effect January 1, 2020. This significant victory will bring California’s hemp laws up to date with the 2018 Farm Bill and strikes outdated state statute language that conflicted with the expanded definition of hemp that includes extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids from the non-intoxicating flowers and leaves. To read the full bill, please visit:

“The California hemp industry looks to become a significant force nationally thanks to the passage of SB 153,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “We are grateful to Senator Scott Wilk for championing this important legislation and to Governor Newsom for signing it into law.”

Eddie Bernacchi, the Director of the California Hemp Council, stated that, “The signing of SB153 is significant as it puts California one step closer to unlocking all of the economic benefits that a robust hemp industry will provide the State.” He added “Next, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will develop a state plan for approval. Implementation of a state plan will finally allow California farmers to fully engage in the hemp industry.”

“SB 153 opens the door for California to take full advantage of the exciting opportunities industrial hemp offers our agricultural and manufacturing sectors,” said Senator Wilk, the bill’s author. “Hemp is used in 25,000 different products so the opportunities are endless, especially for areas like the Antelope Valley which has the perfect climate for hemp production.”

SB 153 requires the California Secretary of the Department 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 May 1, 2020. The USDA has 60 days to approve or deny that plan which can be resubmitted if changes are required.

In addition, SB 153 revises the current state provisions regulating the cultivation and testing of industrial hemp to conform with the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill also provides that upon approval of its state plan, California will apply new registration and regulatory requirements towards cultivators and consequences for violations.

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law legalizing state regulated commercial hemp farming. To date, forty-six states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow the hemp commercially. More information about hemp law, legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at

The California Hemp Council (CHC) represents the statewide interests of the hemp industry in California, including the protection and expansion of in-state cultivation, manufacturing, and use of hemp. The focus of the CHC is to influence legislative and regulatory issues impacting the hemp industry and its related products and to ensure that the industry has a strong, unified voice in Sacramento. More info at