U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ‘s legislation to legalize industrial hemp has been included in the Senate Farm Bill and will be officially considered this week.
“Securing the Hemp Farming Act as part of the 2018 Farm Bill has been a top priority of mine,” said the Senator. “I would like to thank Chairman Roberts and the cosponsors of the Hemp Farming Act – especially Senator Wyden and Representative James Comer in the House — for supporting those efforts.”
Senator Ron Wyden, the lead Democratic sponsor of the Act, said it was just common sense for farmers across the USA to be able to permitted to grow the crop.
“Our bipartisan legislation strikes America’s outdated anti-hemp laws from the books so American consumers can buy products made with hemp grown in America,” said Senator Wyden.
The Hemp Faming Act would recognise the crop as an agricultural commodity, remove it from the list of controlled substances, allow states to be primary regulators of hemp production, enable researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and make farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.
The Senate Farm Bill must now be approved by the full committee, after which, it will go the Senate floor for consideration.
In related news, last week a resolution was unanimously passed in the Senate recognising the historic relevance and growing economic potential value of industrial hemp to the USA and officially designating the week of June 4 through June 10, 2018, as “Hemp History Week”.
Also last week, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner, along with representatives David Joyce and Earl Blumenauer, introduced their Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act). The Act is designed to ensure that each state has the right to determine its own approach to marijuana within state lines.
“Outdated federal marijuana laws have perpetuated our broken criminal justice system, created barriers to research, and hindered economic development,” said Senator Warren.
Apparently, U.S. President Donald Trump has already signaled he will “probably” end up supporting it.
Earl Blumenauer is associated with what’s known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to interfere in or carry out prosecutions relating to state medical marijuana programs. The Amendment is short-lived and has to be regularly renewed, a situation Rep. Blumenauer has said should be “settled once and for all.”