McConnell To File Hemp Legalization Bill In Congress

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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On Monday, March 26, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] announced that he would be introducing a bill to legalize hemp as a legitimate agricultural crop.

Hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant and has an extraordinarily wide range of uses.

Hemp Plants

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing nationwide cultivation and production to return to the United States. Under the measure, individual states would be free to implement hemp programs as they wish.

In 2014, McConnell also supported a provision to create a hemp pilot program in Kentucky and co-sponsored a hemp legalization bill with Jeff Merkley [D-OR], Ron Wyden [D-OR], and Rand Paul [R-KY].

McConnell spoke at a press conference about his hopes for the new bill and the success that has been demonstrated with the hemp cultivation program in his home state. Kentucky currently runs their hemp pilot program through the Department of Agriculture.

“Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky’s agricultural heritage, and I believe it can be an important part of our future,” said McConnell in a statement. “I am grateful to join our Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles in this effort…I am proud to stand here with him today because I believe that we are ready to take the next step and build upon the successes we’ve seen with Kentucky’s hemp pilot program.”

The Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture joined McConnell at the press conference and admonished the Senate leader for the new measure.

Hemp In Kentucky

“Here in Kentucky, we have built the best industrial hemp research pilot program in the country and have established a model for how other states can do the same with buy-in from growers, processors, and law enforcement,” said Quarles. “I want to thank Leader McConnell for introducing this legislation which allows us to harness the economic viability of this crop and presents the best opportunity to put hemp on a path to commercialization.”

McConnell plans to introduce the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 with Senator Rand Paul and the other bipartisan sponsors of the bill on Monday, April 2.