Monday, 22 October, 2018

Mitch McConnell wants to legalize hemp - here's how it's different from marijuana

Credit Ryland Barton WFPL Credit Ryland Barton WFPL
| 28 March, 2018, 01:52

Sen. Mitch McConnell introduced a bill to legalize industrial hemp.

Hemp is legally defined as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana.

Hemp can be used to make food, clothing and cannabidiol, a therapeutic oil derived from the plant.

While removing hemp from the controlled substances list would mean cultivators would no longer need a federal permit, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would still give the federal Agriculture Department oversight over states' hemp production programs, according to information released by McConnell's office. I think most members of the Senate now understand it's two very different plans.

Hemp and marijuana are not the exact same thing.

Hemp leaves are skinnier than marijuana leaves.

He continued: "Imagine, instead of pink fiberglass, we could use Kentucky grown, environmentally sustainable hemp to insulate our houses". The seeds are also edible.


The push to make hemp, a non-psychoactive relative of marijuana, a legal cash crop in the United States got a fresh boost Monday from the country's most powerful senator. Hemp production totaled about 25,500 acres in 2017, more than double the 2016 output, he said.

Flowering marijuana plants are pictured at the Canopy Growth Corporation facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario. McConnell made the announcement on March 26, alongside Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles during the U.S. Hemp Roundtable in Frankfort, Ky.

"Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky's agricultural heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future", said Senator McConell. And in February 2018, researchers were eyeing Rapho Township, Lancaster County as another possible site for industrial hemp research.

If the bill passes, states would be allowed to set their own regulations around growing hemp.

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.

McConnell also mentioned he's open to speaking with Attorney General Jeff Sessions-a staunch proponent of the drug war-about the hemp industry.

Medical marijuana patients, especially those finding relief through the use of CBD, may find a vastly expanded array of products available if hemp were to be legalized nationwide.

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