Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just encouraged Congress to legalize hemp. Shockingly, they went for it! W
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just encouraged Congress to legalize hemp. Shockingly, they went for it! What does all of this mean and what actually happened? The 420 Pony is all mounted up and riding in to explain it all to you without any pesky politics. We’re all about the information on this one, not the alienation.
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp: What Is Hemp?
Hemp is produced from the cannabis plant and while it does contain CBD, it produces little to no THC. That means it won’t make you high. It has other benefits, however.
Hemp is usually used for its fiber which can create foods, rope, clothes, carpets, cardboard, paper, and much more.
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp: But, I Thought Hemp Was Already Legal…Sort Of
We know that hemp’s legal status is confusing. To make matters worse, everyone selling you CBD is always claiming it’s totally legal, even though that’s not precisely the case. Let’s break it down.
Hemp sale and production were previously banned under federal drug laws. That’s all kinds of screwed up, but it was caught up in the reefer madness that gave cannabis its checkered reputation. Want a more specific peek into hemp’s legal status? Check out our recent article about CBD coffee.
The bill that Congress just passed won’t legalize anything other than hemp, but it does allow farmers to grow and sell the useful crop.
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp: The Bill’s History
McConnell (R KY), in addition to Sens. Rand Paul (R KY), Jeff Merkley (Ron Wyden, and D-OR) (D OR), introduced the bill as a part of a wider farm bill covering agriculture subsidies and food assistance programs. It passed along with that other legislation. The only remaining step is for President Donald Trump to sign the bill and make it a law. This is something that’s expected to happen, not a long shot.
For McConnell, it’s an economic issue. He sees hemp as a new crop that his state can grow. In turn, that creates jobs. In fact, he said he hopes hemp will take the place tobacco once held as a major crop for Kentucky.
As Vox reported, area farmers share this sentiment and hope hemp can help them recover some of the losses they faced as more people turned away from cigarettes for health reasons.
Prior to this, farmers face many barriers to developing hemp because of federal prohibition. For instance, it’s hard to get crop insurance, water rights, and banking to support their hemp ventures. The bill eliminates these limitations, putting the US Department of Agriculture and state agencies in control of regulations.
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp: Getting The Ball Rolling
There are by now restricted pilot and research programs for hemp, which McConnell backed separately prior to introducing this bill.
Meanwhile, ten states as well as Washington, DC, have legalized the psychoactive type of cannabis for leisure purposes, while thirty-two states have for medical applications. McConnell, nonetheless, has historically opposed medical or recreational legalization.
That’s ok with us, since this is still a step in the right direction.
Did Congress Just Legalize Hemp: Environmental Implications
Let’s not forget that hemp is a pretty awesome renewable resource. Hemp products biodegrade and because the plant grows quickly, it’s more sustainable than wood.