U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell secured a provision in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill to proceed with processing of legally cultivated industrial hemp. The language would assist farmers to move legal industrial hemp across state lines so the crop can be used for commercial purposes.
“Kentucky’s industrial hemp pilot programs continue to prosper and I want to make sure our legal hemp producers can safely transport their crops between states, including to states that maintain processing facilities, so they can fully capitalize on the commercial potential for this commodity,” said McConnell.
“This latest language reemphasizes that industrial hemp from a farm bill research program is an agricultural commodity. The ability of Kentucky to research the full potential of industrial hemp through processing, marketing, and sales is vital to understanding the future possibilities for industrial hemp. Kentucky’s agriculture community continues to be indebted to Senator McConnell for his continued leadership on industrial hemp,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer.
This past June, McConenell worked with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Jon Tester (D-MT) to secure language in the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriation bill to make sure that legal industrial hemp pilot programs, such as those in Kentucky, can progress without federal disruption.
These most current hemp provisions build off of McConell’s work in last year’s Farm Bill, which provided state agricultural commissioners and universities the federal authority to grow industrial hemp for pilot programs.