1. Smokable/Raw Flower production is the only profitable part of the hemp industry currently for small and medium-sized farmers and will effectively shut small and medium- sized farmers out of the business of growing hemp if this bill passes.
- Smokable Hemp Flower and Products (“inhalables”) will IMMEDIATELY be criminalized to sell in California upon passage of this bill.
- Food and Fiber hemp requires expensive equipment and specialized processing centers that have not yet been built and are not available for California farmers.
- Small and medium-sized farms cannot meet the minimum pound requirements to get their product into extraction processors and even if they could, they can’t survive on the returns.
- California has issued hundreds of licenses to grow the currently legal crop of smokable hemp flower which is currently in the ground and once this bill is signed these farmers are immediately criminals if they harvest and try to sell their product in California.
2. Small and medium-sized farmers who grow and produce their own CBD products will be unable to navigate or afford to produce their value-added products under this law.
- Farmers who manufacture must obtain an annual Industrial Hemp Enrollment and Oversight authorization permit and pay authorization and renewal fees to cover the actual cost of implementing this regulatory program including authorization activities, oversight, inspection and enforcement activities as well as U.C. research fees.
- Extraction, infusion, packaging, labeling, processing, preparing, holding, storing hemp compounds and ingredients all fall under products regulated by this bill.
- Raw extract final form, batch testing and final form product testing will be required by an approved independent testing laboratory.
3. If AB45 is passed, the accessibility of smokable hemp products in California is at risk due to the potential for smokable hemp flower getting absorbed into the cannabis industry and sold only at dispensaries. The diversity of CBD products is also at risk of being largely represented by corporate industrial hemp farms and processors.
- Smokable hemp is non-psychoactive and contains none of the carcinogenic tar compounds or addictive nictotine found in tobacco.
- This bill will amend AUMA by changing the definition of “industrial hemp” to include cannabis plants and any part of that plant.
- AB45 is largely the work of Washington lobbyists and out of state industrial hemp corporations who want to enter California’s market seemingly at great expense to California’s fledgling industrial hemp farmer’s and businesses.
- The Cannabis Control Board would become part of the regulatory framework for CBD hemp.
4. Young farmers and minority farmers will be disproportionately harmed by the bill, two demographics that are much needed in our aging/white agricultural landscape.
- California faces a crisis in agriculture with an aging community of farmers. Many new to farming and educated young people have entered the smokable hemp flower business with enthusiasm and skills, invigorating California’s agricultural landscape.
- Minority farmers have entered the smokable flower hemp business, bringing unique skills and education, building opportunities for a demographic that represents less than 2% of private agricultural land owner’s in the US.
5. The farms, businesses and markets that farmers have cultivated- investments in land, equipment, skills- will all be lost with the passage of this bill. Farms and businesses will be lost and will no longer be contributors to California’s economy.
- Most farmers will exit the industry if this bill is passed and we will lose momentum and knowledge of hemp farming in California.
- The ban will destroy many businesses/farms and a multi-million dollar industry across the state leaving thousands of Californian’s unemployed.
6. A ban on smokable hemp flower will be expensive.
- Texas banned smokable hemp in 2019. Shortly thereafter, hemp companies filed lawuits against the Texas Department of State Health Services claiming the ban was unconstitutional. Plaintiff’s cited that they would unjustly incur significant costs related to relocation outside of the state, lost profits during partial closures and reestablishment efforts, and additional labor costs associated with new operations and activities in other states.
- The Plaintiffs in Texas have been successful so far, but not without having incurred significant legal fees and while a Texas Trial Court declared the smokable hemp ban unconstitutional, appeals from the State are anticipated.
- The State of Texas has incurred significant legal fees, all financed by citizen tax dollars. Similar costs would be incurred by the State of California, as well as California companies, forcing businesses to potentially close or move out of state.
7. Many small farmers and medium-sized farmers make for a BIG ECONOMY which is diverse and more stable than large corporate farms and processors.