A new piece of legislation that would allow hemp to be legalized as an agricultural product is making its way through the Senate right now.
The bill was introduced to the Senate last week by the majority leader Mitch McConnell. After its introduction, the bill was quickly placed on the Senate calendar for Monday, April 16th. After the bill was introduced, something known as Rule 14 was put in place. This rule is a procedural move that effectively allows a bill to skip over the committee process so that it can quickly be brought to the Senate floor. Rule 14 does not by any means guarantee that it will be voted upon, but it is a way to get something fast-tracked through what can sometimes be a long process.
The bill in question is known as the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. The act would allow the legalization of hemp, which until this point has been put on a list of controlled substances. Hemp would then be allowed to be sold as an agricultural commodity, which can then be used for a wide variety of products and goods.
McConnell recently stated that “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 county.” Hemp has a large range of uses in everything from clothing to industrial uses and beyond. The new bill would effectively allow states to regulate the legality of hemp as well as giving researchers grants to study the plant in greater detail. While there are still many issues in the world of legalization for hemp and the cannabis plant separately, this move represents a step forward in breaking the mold of legalization.