Hemp has an extremely long and prolific history. It was used in the United States for hundreds of years for various things. It was also one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber over 10,000 years ago and has thousands upon thousands of various uses. In addition to this, it is one of the fastest growing plants and was first made illegal in the United States in the mid-30s. Since that time there have been many states which have legalized the production of industrial hemp. And while this has allowed for some locally grown hemp made products to be produced in our country, it wasn’t until very recently that the notion of legalizing the plant was sparked again.
The current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, might not be a familiar name for you, but he just championed legislation that would legalize industrial hemp if passed. In April, McConnell introduced the legislation to legalize hemp titled the Hemp Farming Act. Most of the provisions in the original bill were included in the much larger Farm Bill that was revealed in early June. The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry approved the bill by a vote of 20-1 shortly after. On July 1st, 2018 the Farm Bill passed Senate by a vote of 86-11. However, don’t get too excited just yet, The Farm Bill will still need to be merged with a version from the House and then it will need a signature from President Trump.
“I’m most excited about a provision in this bill that will clear the way for the legal farming of industrial hemp by removing current roadblocks that prevent farmers in Kentucky and around the country from capitalizing on this promising crop,” said Senator McConnell. If this bill passes it would effectively remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. This would legalize the plant federally and allow it to be grown, processed and sold as a commodity. In addition to this, it would also allow hemp farmers to apply for crop insurance as well as apply for research grants from the federal Department of Agriculture.
Many people don’t know, but when you buy legal CBD oil from a smoke shop or elsewhere, it is almost always derived from hemp. Because, while hemp plants contain extremely small traces of THC (the main chemical in cannabis that gets you high) they typically contain decent amounts of CBDS which have numerous medical uses. In fact, hemp can even be grown and bred to have higher than average amounts of CBD. So basically if passed, all CBD oil products derived from hemp would become legal on a national scale. This would drastically reduce the cost of legal CBD oil products that are currently on the market and could be a lifesaver for some.
While it’s possible the provision regarding hemp in the Farm Bill could be changed, Sen. McConnell backing hemp legalization will definitely increase the chances of success.