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Sen. Mitch McConnell to introduce legislation to legalize hemp

29 March, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • McConnell wants hemp removed from controlled substance list

"I just had an opportunity to see some interesting and innovative products, some of which you see here on the table, made with Kentucky-grown hemp", he said at the US Hemp Roundtable in Frankfort on Monday. If this bill passes (and it has not yet even been introduced, or even written), it would essentially legalize hemp farming, and the sale of CBD products, in all 50 states. The most important piece of the legislation is that hemp would be removed from the list of controlled substances and legalized as an agricultural commodity.

McConnell said his bill seeks to build on pilot program successes and has bipartisan backing in the Senate.

Brian Furnish is an eighth-generation tobacco farmer from Cynthiana and one of the first to legally grow hemp after the 2014 rules went into effect.

Production of hemp has soared since states have started to legalize cannabis, and its set to become a billion dollar industry. "Sen. McConnell's support is critical to helping us move hemp from research and pilot programs to full commercial production". In 2014, he backed a provision in that year's farm bill to allow for a hemp cultivation pilot program in his home state, and the following year he co-sponsored a hemp legalization bill introduced by Sens. Hemp is derived from the cannabis plant, though the fiber has no psychoactive effect if consumed. Hemp has historically been used for rope but has hundreds of other uses, including clothing and mulch from the fiber, hemp milk and cooking oil from the seeds, as well as soap and lotions. Researchers who want to study hemp would also be able to apply for federal grants through the Department of Agriculture. There's much broader understanding now that hemp is a "totally different" plant than its cousin, he said.

"All we've got to do is the government get out of the way and let us grow", he told reporters. Paul has played a central role in persuading McConnell to become a proponent for the hemp industry. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) did not agree with this definition and has consistently pointed out that both plants come from the same genus and are therefore they are same plant and so subject to the Controlled Substances Act.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to approve of states' implementation plans, but once that happened, states would be the primary regulators of hemp. "I am grateful to join our Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles in this effort".



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