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Kentucky Senator McConnell Introduces Hemp Farming Act of 2018 to Congress

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was co-introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both from Oregon.

Senator Mitch McConnell Optimistic Hemp can be for Kentucky what Tobacco Once Was

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 is intended to establish hemp as an agricultural commodity, which will protect state hemp programs, remove restrictions on banking access, allow water rights, crop insurance, and encourage research on hemp through USDA funding already available to farmers.

“By legalizing hemp and empowering states to conduct their own oversight plans, we can give the hemp industry the tools necessary to create jobs and new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers around the country,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Kentucky) said in a statement.

When McConnell first announced the new bill last month, he said he was optimistic that industrial hemp could be for Kentucky what tobacco once was.

Although this measure does not affect medical or recreational cannabis, which McConnell refers to as hemp’s “illicit cousin,” it will revive the hemp industry that once flourished in America.

“As I’ve traveled across Kentucky, I’ve spoken with farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Time and again, they shared with me their enthusiasm for hemp’s potential to reenergize agricultural communities and provide a new spark to the US economy. This bill will help make that potential a reality.”

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was co-introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both from Oregon.

"We're grateful for the urgency that Senators McConnell, Wyden and Merkley are demonstrating on this issue. We are calling on Congress to pass this imperative legislation so that American farmers can finally engage in and benefit economically from the booming U.S. hemp industry," said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp.

"With strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate, Congress has a clear road to passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, and we urge them to do so immediately, so that no further economic opportunity is lost to American farmers and manufacturers."

Furthermore, per Vote Hemp, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 expands legal hemp cultivation to tribal lands, reservations and U.S. territories, which were previously omitted in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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