Senator Mitch McConnell announced today that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial Hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances. He also wants to allocate federal money for the cultivation of the crop.
The U.S. Senate’s top leader told a group of hemp advocated in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation when the U.S. Senate returns to Washington D.C. next week.
“I believe hemp has a bright future in our state,” McConnell said. “It’s now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop for every state that wants to file a plan with the U.S. Department of agriculture.”
In 2014, McConnell backed a provision in that year’s farm bill to allow for the cultivation of hemp through a pilot program in his home state. The following year he sponsored a hemp legalization bill introduced by Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Why is Senator Mitch McConnell pushing for legalization of Hemp?
“Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky’s agriculture heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future,” Sen. McConnell said in a statement.
While Hemp and Cannabis are the same species of plant, Hemp has a much smaller amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in Cannabis. Growing Hemp without a federal permit has long been banned due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana.
By introducing this bill not only will it pave the way for more states to grow hemp for the CBD industry, it will also bring essential jobs to states that are influenced by the Opioid epidemic affecting the country.
While things are looking up, we should not hold onto hope that the bill will become law. We as a community must keep continuing to put pressure on our representatives in Congress to act. Things that go a long way to help the cause include emailing, calling and writing letters. Remember midterm elections are only 7 months away.