Senate Leader Promises Hemp Legalization with 2019 Farm Bill
Washington DC lawmakers are still working out the fine details of the current Farm Bill, but a provision in the bill which would legalize hemp nationwide and put the responsibility of its regulation solely on the states will be in the bill. That is according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said Friday that the bill would be among his top priority when Congress reconvenes later this month.
"If there's a farm bill it will be in there; I guarantee you that. We're trying right now to make sure there's a farm bill and before the end of the year,” McConnell told reporters in his home state of Kentucky.
Back in July, the Senate passed a version of the bill which included McConnel's hemp legalization language. The House version of the bill also passed. However, it did not include the hemp provision. The House-Senate conference committee must now hash out a final bill to send to the president’s desk for signing. The main points of contention do not include the hemp provision, but rather focus on food stamp eligibility requirements.
McConnell has been a prime mover in the push to divorce hemp from the DEA Schedule I Controlled Substance status of marijuana which would effectively legalize the production and sale of hemp-derived CBD oil at the Federal level. However, because each U.S. state would have to decide for itself how to regulate hemp and CBD, although unlikely, it is still not out of the realm of possibility that a small number of states could end up opting out making hemp and CBD illegal in the state.
It’s important to point out that the legalization of CBD and the farming of what is essentially THC-free marijuana is nowhere near the top of the list of motivations for federal hemp legislation. The main concern is the economic potential of industrial hemp which is relatively inexpensive and simple to cultivate but produces valuable fibers and abundant, highly nutritious seeds. Other uses for hemp seed oil are also being explored by scientists such as in producing plastics and biofuel.
McConnell was also instrumental in the passage of the 2014 federal farm bill which included a provision allowing hemp research and development in a number of states. With McConnell's pledge that the new farm bill will include the hemp legalization provision things are looking mighty good for makers and fans of hemp-derived CBD oil.