Kentucky Urges Congress To End Hemp Prohibition

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, cannabis was deemed to be a Schedule I narcotic. As a result, growing hemp without a license became illegal in the United States.

And even though hemp contains negligible amounts of THC, and is used largely for industrial purposes, it resides in the U.S. government’s Schedule I category, in the company of a lengthy list of opiates, opioids, stimulants, and depressants.


While hemp contains very little THC, it boasts higher levels of another cannabinoid; CBD (cannabidiol). CBD garnered a lot of attention around the world in recent years after it was discovered that it reduced seizures in epileptic children and provided relief for others with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia.

Because it’s not THC, and isn’t psychoactive, it’s a common assumption that CBD is legal in the eyes of the federal government. But in December 2016, the DEA removed any doubt as to the cannabinoid’s Schedule I status when they created a separate code number specifically for cannabis extract, distinct from marijuana flower.

In the new code, they defined extracts as “containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant. Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances.”

And while the DEA considers CBD a dangerous drug, they have yet to actively pursue those who are involved in its manufacture, transport, or sale.

Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35

But CBD does not fit the definition of a Schedule I narcotic, and the number of medicinal, industrial, and other uses for cannabis is virtually limitless. It’s a sentiment held by the legislators who passed the Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35 (93-2) last week, urging Congress to change the way the federal government treats hemp.

The new resolution is not a law, but rather a declaration of the state’s principles regarding hemp, and a call for the federal government to stop treating it as a narcotic.

In 2014, Congress enacted 7 U.S.C. Sec. 5940 which allowed state agricultural departments and institutions of higher learning to cultivate hemp in states where it is legal. This provision of law enabled the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to quickly begin a hemp research pilot program which the resolution describes as being “widely regarded as a model for other states to emulate.”

In 2017, Kentucky’s Controlled Substances Act was amended by the General Assembly to exclude hemp and products made from it from the definition of illegal cannabis.

The resolution calls on members of Congress to take four primary steps:

1. Encourage large-scale commercial cultivation by excluding hemp from the controlled substances list

2. Prevent the DEA from interfering with legal hemp operations

3. Create protections for banks that work with legitimate hemp businesses

4. Instruct the FDA to accelerate clinical trials on the health effects of CBD and other cannabinoids.

Having passed the Kentucky legislature, copies of the resolution are to be sent to the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, Minority Leader of the House, Minority Leader of the Senate, and all members of Kentucky’s delegation to the United States Congress.