Full hemp legalization is drawing closer, and if it happens, a pair of powerful legislators from a conservative, rural, state will have played an outsized part in the outcome.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, along with Rep. James Comer, also from Kentucky and a farmer who swears by CBD for combating aches and pains, are working to push legislation that legalizes hemp across the finish line. They’re joined by legislators from Oregon and other cannabis-friendly states.
But according to Politico, which has an in-depth look at the effort to legalize hemp, McConnell, especially, is driving the train. The Senate majority leader pushed through his legalization legislation as part of the Senate version of the Farm Bill. But it still has a ways to go before Congress pushes hemp through to legal cultivation.
The House version of the Farm Bill imposes onerous restrictions on Food Stamps, and includes nothing to loosen hemp regulations.
The two versions will have to be reconciled, and McConnell has appointed himself to the committee reconciling them.
According to the Fence Post, McConnell said:
“I have proudly served on the ariculture committee since my first day in the Senate and know exactly how important this legislation is to agricultural communities across Kentucky,” McConnell said.
“So as majority leader, I put myself on the conference, and we’re ready to get to work to ensure the future of American agriculture. I will advocate for Kentucky’s multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry that supports thousands of good jobs and families in nearly every corner of the commonwealth.
“Additionally, I will strongly advocate to legalize industrial hemp. I’m optimistic that my Hemp Farming Act, which I secured in the Senate bill, will be included in the final bill sent to the president for his signature. I am also glad to have the support of Congressman (James) Comer (R-Ky.) on the conference for legalizing industrial hemp.”