There are many ridiculous aspects of federal cannabis prohibition, but none more asinine than the illegality of industrial hemp. Hemp has played a crucial part in the history of the United States as both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers and Uncle Sam filmed “Hemp for Victory,” urging farmers to grow hemp to help win World War II.
American farmers have been denied the ability to cultivate hemp for decades as the crop has been classified the same as cannabis under federal law, but that could soon change as the United States Senate just passed the 2018 Farm Bill that includes a reclassification of hemp. By changing hemp’s status under federal, the Farm Bill, if passed by the House and signed by Donald Trump, something that could happen by the end of the week, the United States government will finally unleash the benefits of hemp for fuel, food, and fiber. Hemp’s new classification is expected to be a boon for CBD oil manufacturers, but will hopefully lead to more sustainable products across various sectors of our society.
As Marijuana Moment noted, hemp legalization is one of the few bipartisan issues that brings Republicans and Democrats together:
The bill passed 87-13 in the Senate, and the House is expected to take it up soon. If the House approves the bill, it will be sent to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
While debate on the legislation extended over several months, it quickly became apparent that the hemp legalization provision had bipartisan support. Separately, a compromise was reached over a provision that would ban people with felony convictions from participating in the hemp industry. The ban would be lifted after 10 years under the current legislation.
Hemp would no longer be controlled by the Justice Department if it’s ultimately approved. Instead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would lightly regulate the crop.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and others cheered the inclusion of legal hemp in the Farm Bill.
So long as political bickering and shenanigans don’t derail the 2018 Farm Bill, American farmers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and Drug War reformers will all have something to celebrate very soon. This is a true win-win for the American people and everyone involved, on both sides of the aisle, should be commended. The late, great Jack Herer would say that hemp can save the planet. Maybe it can help heal our nation’s political divide as well.
Learn the latest about all things related to the hemp and cannabis industries at upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference events. First up: San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Berlin, Zurich, and Vancouver throughout 2019. Get your early-bird tickets today and save!