Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell Seeks to Legalize Hemp
Hemp is not marijuana and bipartisan support on Capitol Hill favors that notion. On April 12 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) officially introduced to U.S. Senate the Hemp Farming Act of 2018—a new legislation that would remove non-psychoactive cannabis plant varieties, i.e., hemp, from the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act.
On the introduction of Hemp Farming Act, “It’s time the federal gov changes the way it looks at #hemp, which is why Senator @RonWyden and I, along with @SenJeffMerkley, are introducing legislation that will modernize federal law in this area & empower American farmers to explore this promising new market,” tweeted Majority Leader McConnell— who said he will soon be meeting to discuss hemp legislation issues with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long-time cannabis law reform opponent.
The Hemp Farming Act would move regulatory authority of hemp to the USDA. The USDA would provide oversight over states’ hemp production and state departments of agriculture would regulate local production. With strong bipartisan support, co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (D-KY), McConnell’s bill would cover the following:
- Hemp will be defined as 0.3% THC or less including a more expansive definition of all part of the plant including extracts
- Makes hemp crops eligible for crop insurance
- Will open up access to USDA research funding
- Helps remove restrictions on banking, water rights and other roadblocks currently facing the industry
In response to the bill’s introduction, Sen. Wyden said, “It is really a milestone to have the majority leader of the Senate working with a bipartisan group of us to lift a restriction that is anti-farmer, certainly anti-consumer and anti-common sense,” he said. “The only thing you’re going to accomplish by smoking hemp is wasting your breath, wasting your time and wasting lighter fluid.”
Hemp, a staple cash crop in United States history and once required by law to be grown by colonist farmers, has been heavily restricted by federal law since the early 20th century. A resurgence in demand for the re-legalization of industrial hemp products—notably hemp oil and extract—and hemp cultivation has gained significant momentum over the last few years. Majority Leader McConnell’s announcement is further evidence that top U.S. representatives favor hemp’s legalization and the value it can provide U.S. citizens.
This is a developing story and PrimeMyBody will provide updates as they progress.
If you live in a state where hemp oil is being debated for legality we strongly urge you to contact your local representative. For representative contact information in your region visit the resource section on NationalHempAssociation.org.