Since we noted that North Dakota was setting out to make the cultivation of industrial hemp legal in that US state, we've now learnt that California also has its eyes on the prize. Today they are holding a hearing of the California Senate Public Safety Committee to look at a bill that will "grant farmers the right to grow industrial hemp to produce seed and fiber." And seems this Thursday that North Dakota will having their own public hearing on the issue. It's been almost 50 years since hemp was last legally grown in the US and farmers are getting antsy seeing their northern brethren in Canada turning it into good business. A record 40,000 acres of the stuff is being grown just across the border from 'the land of the free." An hemp acreage now equal to that under crop in Europe. And it's not only agriculturists who are miffed. Manufacturers like FlexForm have to import the hemp they use for their natural fibre-composite panels for the automotive industry. And apparently 2.5 million cars in North America have such panels. Oh, and the hemp food industry in the US is suppose to gown 50% in the past year too. ( 'Industrial' hemp contains less than three-tenths of one percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the element in other strains of Cannabis sativa, which can have a psychoactive effect.) ::Vote Hemp, via US Newswire.