The Senate Health Committee advanced the third iteration of a controversial measure to legalize certain hemp products in California, including CBD.

Senator Ben Allen of Santa Monica said the measure would allow California hemp growers to compete on a level playing field with their counterparts. More than half of all states already permit hemp CBD.

The California Farm Bureau was skeptical, however, and opposed the bill. Policy advocate Taylor Roschen called it impractical to test hemp for THC the same way as cannabis. The testing includes a zero-tolerance standard for pesticide residue. Pesticide products have yet to be federally approved for cannabis although they are already available for hemp growers.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West.

Roschen also objected to the bill’s prohibition on the sale of smokable raw flower. Not all flower is smokable and a small-scale market does exist for it, she argued.

The bill passed 11-0.