WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wording that would legalize hemp farming at a federal level will be part of the new Senate Farm Bill, according to U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. The Farm Bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee today.
“Our bipartisan legislation will help farmers unlock the full economic potential of industrial hemp, spurring economic growth and creating good-paying red, white, and blue jobs in rural communities across the country. Passing the Hemp Farming Act through the Senate Agriculture Committee marks a huge step toward allowing consumers to buy products made with hemp grown in America,” said Wyden.
The two Oregon senators worked closely with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to create the legislation and include it in the Senate Farm Bill. According to a statement from Wyden and Merkley, 25 other senators now support the bill.
“Outdated policies should not stand in the way of our American farmers growing a crop that is already used to make products sold all across the U.S.,” said Merkley. “With this farm bill, we are moving Oregon farmers into the 21st century—allowing industrial hemp to meet its potential to create jobs and strengthen the agriculture industry, as well as jump-starting the long-overdue process of reforming the Controlled Substances Act.”
The new Hemp Farming Act would define hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances. According to Wyden and Merkley, it would also allow states the opportunity to become the "primary regulators" of hemp production, allow hemp researchers to apply for federal grants, and allow hemp farmers to apply for crop insurance.
I’d like to thank the Chairman & @SenStabenow for working w/ me to include my #HempFarmingAct in the bill. It builds on the success of the pilot program I championed in the 2014 farm bill by removing federal roadblocks to industrial hemp.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) June 13, 2018