Senate and House lawmakers have agreed to a reconciled version of the 2018 Farm Bill with provisions to allow Americans to grow and research industrial hemp (finally) included.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is responsible for ensuring that the provision to legalize industrial hemp was included in the bill, U.S. News & World Report notes. Boosting the economy with the ability to produce hemp crops on U.S. soil has been very attractive to lawmakers.
“This farm bill is going to be a total game-changer,” Stuart Titus of Medical Marijuana Inc. said. “I think this is going to be a tremendous step forward.”
The hemp bill is in its final stages of negotiation. The House and Senate versions must be reconciled. Both versions reclassify hemp as an agricultural products. This would finally remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
Some believe that this will open the door for the end of federal marijuana prohibition. Hemp legalization is considered to be the first step toward ending the failed war on the cannabis plant.
“We are very bullish on the notion that in 2019 and 2020 Congress is in fact going to take on a number of broader issues loosening federal rules on pot,” said Paul Armentano of NORML.
The Farm Bill is expected to be finalized and enacted very soon.