SB 566 is the California Industrial Hemp farming Act and it is now law. Governor Jerry Brown signed the Bill this past Wednesday. State Senator Mark Leno (democrat) has been on this issue since 2005. The bill authorizes California to cultivate Hemp as soon as the government allows it. But technically it already does.
In 1970, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal
Controlled Substances Act of 1970 "explicitly excludes nonpsychoactive
hemp from the definition of marijuana," a decision that the federal
government never appealed.
Several California governors have issued a veto to the Hemp bills in the past, but due to the economic success of Hemp in other countries and coupled with the fact we important Hemp, it seems California is waking up.
Currently more than 30 countries (including Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany and China) and nine states have gone in this direction. Of first legalizing its cultivation and then waiting to see what the Federal government will do with it. Many speculate that with Holder's admission that the Federal government would not pursue states that have legalized Marijuana use through ballot iniatives, this seems to support a sense of security for farmers.
Only time will tell how this will play out but as far as Industrial Hemp is concerned; it is still a no brainer. Sb 566 is a reactionary bill that is dependent on the Federal. But it is still a sign that the fear is beginning to wane.