Written by: Eric Steenstra – President, Vote Hemp
On Monday Senate Majority Leader McConnell held a press conference with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Quarles to announce that he will be introducing new hemp legislation soon to fully remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Leader McConnell said he plans to introduce the bill along with Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Paul (R-KY).
“It’s now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop,” McConnell said.
You may have heard about the announcement but probably not many details. That is because the bill has not yet been introduced and is being finalized following feedback from farmers, industry and the USDA.
Leader McConnell explained “the goal of this new bill.. is to simply remove the roadblocks”
We couldn’t agree more with his approach. McConnell indicated that the bill will move regulatory authority to the USDA and states and remove it from the DEA. Some of the other details include:
- The bill will be called “The Hemp Farming Act of 2018”
- States will need to submit their regulatory plan to USDA and then the state department of agriculture will regulate its production
- Hemp will be defined as 0.3% THC or less including a more expansive definition of all part of the plant including extracts
- The bill will open up access to federal research funding
- It should also help remove restrictions on banking, water rights and other roadblocks currently facing the industry
- The bill will be introduced in April, likely after the Easter recess
- Leader McConnell intends to add the bill as an amendment to 2018 Farm Bill
We applaud Senator McConnell for his leadership and for working to bring back commercial hemp farming in the U.S. again. Once the bill is introduced, we will contact you so you can urge your senators to support it. Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing efforts.