New Farm Bill Moves to Legalize Hemp as Agricultural Product
Monday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced a bill to legalize the hemp industry by classifying it as an agricultural commodity.
Senator McConnell announced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden, (D-OR)., and Rand Paul, (R-KY), alongside Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. The legislation would legalize hemp as an agricultural product, remove it from the federal list of controlled substances, and provide hemp researchers with a way to apply for grants through the Department of Agriculture.
“Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky’s agriculture heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future,” Senator McConnell said in a press release
Senator McConnell expressed little concern about any problems that may arise from hemp’s similarity to “it’s distant cousin,” marijuana.
“In 2014, in getting the pilot project option in the farm bill, there was a lot of discussion about what is this. Is this the same as it’s distant cousin? I think we’ve moved past that. I think most members of the Senate now understand it’s 2 very different plans. There may be some continued discussion of that. But I think most everybody over the last course of the current farm bill now understands this is a totally different plan,” Senator McConnell said.