BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1147
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          Date of Hearing:   January 18, 2006

                                   Judy Chu, Chair

                    AB 1147 (Leno) - As Amended:  January 5, 2006 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  4-2 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill revises the definition of marijuana in the California  
          Health and Safety Code to exclude industrial hemp.   
          Specifically, this bill: 

          1)Defines industrial hemp as an agricultural field crop limited  
            to nonpsychoactive varieties of the Cannabis plant, with no  
            more than three-tenths of 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  
            contained in the dry flowering tops and cultivated from seeds  
            originating in California, and processed exclusively for the  
            stalks of the plant and by-products of the stalk and seed.

          2)States that this bill does not authorize cultivation,  
            production, or possession of resin, flowering tops, or leaves  
            that have been removed from the field of cultivation and  
            separated from the other parts of the industrial hemp plant.

          3)Prohibits transportation or sale across state lines of  
            Cannabis seed capable of germination and prohibits cultivation  
            of industrial hemp not grown in a research setting or as an  
            agricultural field crop. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          No direct state costs. 

          To the extent this bill results in additional law enforcement  
          efforts - such as increased investigation and court time to  
          determine whether plants or materials are industrial hemp or  
          marijuana - there could be indeterminable state and  
          nonreimbursable local costs. 


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          To the extent this bill results in litigation to challenge  
          federal preemption issues, there could be indeterminable state  
          trial court costs. 


           1)Rationale  . According to the author, "In 1937, the U.S.  
            Government mistakenly categorized hemp with marijuana due to  
            their physical similarities and the fact that hemp contains  
            THC (although hemp contains only a negligible amount of the  
            chemical).  Hemp has so little THC that it physically cannot  
            be used as an intoxicant and is 100% safe for the consumer.   
            Because hemp has no psychoactive properties, the Federal  
            Government has allowed hemp products of every kind to be  
            manufactured and sold in the United States.  Californians can  
            buy hemp clothing and food products in stores throughout the  
            state, but state law is silent on the legality of growing hemp  
            in California for in-state commerce."

             a)   According to Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization  
               dedicated to free market industrial hemp, while hemp is  
               grown and processed throughout the world for paper,  
               clothing, canvas, rope, food products and many other  
               commercial uses, only non-viable seeds are legal in the  
               U.S. without a DEA permit, meaning farmers cannot  
               realistically grow hemp.

           2)Current state law  defines marijuana as all parts of the  
            Cannabis plant, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from  
            any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt,  
            derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or  
            resin.  It does not include the mature stalks of the plant,  
            fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the  
            seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt,  
            derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks  
            (except the resin extracted there from), fiber, oil, or cake,  
            or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of  

           3)Other States' Efforts Regarding Industrial Hemp  .  According to  
            Vote Hemp, six states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North  
            Dakota and Virginia) have removed barriers to the growth of  
            hemp for research purposes. Hawaii is the only state that has  
            permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration to grow  


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            industrial hemp - on a one-quarter acre of government land  
            under 24-hour security. 
          4)Prior hemp related legislation in California  .

             a)   HR 32 (Strom-Martin, 1999) stated "the Assembly finds  
               and declares that industrial hemp is a vital, sustainable,  
               renewable resource for building materials, cloth, cordage,  
               fiber, food, fuel, industrial chemicals, oil, paint, paper,  
               plastics, seed, yarn, and many other useful products?and  
               declares the domestic production of industrial hemp can  
               help protect California's environment, contribute to the  
               growth of the state economy, and be regulated in a manner  
               that will not interfere with the enforcement of marijuana  
               laws? and declares the Legislature should consider action  
               to revise the legal status of industrial hemp to allow for  
               its growth in California as an agricultural and industrial  

             b)   AB 448 (Strom-Martin, 2001) directed the California  
               Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with  
               the Attorney General, to establish rules and regulations  
               for the licensure and growing of industrial hemp. AB 448  
               failed passage in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

             c)   AB 388 (Strom-Martin, 2002), requested UC to assess the  
               economic opportunities of specialty or alternative fiber  
               crops, including industrial hemp, using information from  
               other states and countries. Gov. Davis vetoed AB 388,  
               stating, "There are a number of significant concerns  
               regarding the legality of producing industrial hemp in the  
               U.S.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded that  
               'legal issues currently preclude research into the  
               viability of industrial hemp fiber production in the U.S.'  

           5)Is Removing Industrial Hemp from the Definition of Marijuana  
            Preempted by Federal Law  ?  The federal Controlled Substance  
            Act of 1970 defined five schedules of narcotics based on  
            medical uses and the likelihood of addiction. The Act defines  
            marijuana as "all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L.,  
            whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted  
            from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture,  
            salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its  
            seeds or resin.  Such term does not include the mature stalks  


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            of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake  
            made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound,  
            manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such  
            mature stalks (except the resin extracted there from), fiber,  
            oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is  
            incapable of germination." California has also adopted this  

          At issue is whether California can redefine marijuana  
            differently than federal statute.  The U.S. Supreme Court has  
            stated that Congress is within its right to supersede state  
            drug laws because intrastate manufacturing and sales affects a  
            national and international drug trade that poses a risk to the  
            United States as a whole.  [21 USCS 801,  Gonzales vs. Raich   
            (2004) 125 S.Ct. 3195.]  

          In 2005, Ron Paul (R-TX) and George Miller (D-CA) attempted to  
            amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act by excluding  
            industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana.  H.R. 3037  
            is pending in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  

           6)Author's amendments  add findings and add Assemblymember DeVore  
            as a joint author. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081