Senator McConnell and Commissioner Quarles Announce Hemp Legislation

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Leader McConnell continued his clear and compelling support saying, "This bill (Hemp Farming Act of 2018) will finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of Controlled Substances".

"It's now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop", McConnell said.

Now hemp can only been grown with a federal permit because it is classified as a controlled substance due to it's close relation to marijuana.

Hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, and four years ago it was completely illegal.

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Under Kentucky's popular hemp pilot program, the state department of agriculture past year announced plans to build the first CBD oil processing plant in the United States, which they also claimed will be the world's largest.

Senator McConnell announced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), seeks to lessen the stigma surrounding hemp products.

The promised move was applauded by hemp supporters in Pennsylvania.

Hemp got a limited reprieve with the 2014 federal Farm Bill.

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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) reported that in 2015, retail sales for hemp products reached $600 million, which is much lower than the $5.4 billion for marijuana sales in 2015 as reported by Arcview. Kentucky's industrial hemp program has been well underway and the state recently permitted its first CBD oil facility - which is technically in violation of federal drug laws.

As a champion of the hemp industry, McConnell recently successfully passed the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill which included language that specifically approves the interstate and worldwide transportation of hemp and hemp-derived products.

As a Kentucky native, McConnell has always been an advocate of hemp as a cash crop. He and his predecessor, Jamie Comer, have been real champions for the research and development of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth. Where tobacco was once king, hemp may be the future cash crop.

Whether he knows it or not, U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is fighting to legalize a cannabis crop that bears a striking physical resemblance to marijuana. The Trump administration has taken a tougher stance on marijuana.

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McConnell said he plans to emphasize the differences between the plants to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He said the measure would allow states to have primary regulatory oversight of hemp production if they submit plans to federal officials outlining how they would monitor production. Tobacco production dropped sharply in Kentucky amid declining smoking rates.