Last month, Greg Ibach, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said, "Opening the door wide open nationwide, with no restrictions, may not be in the best interests of the hemp industry".
In his announcement of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2018, McConnell pointed to Kentucky as a model for the rest of the country. The result would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity.
Let's be honest, Republican Mitch McConnell is much more interested in bringing gobs of pork spending to his home state of Kentucky than he is in cannabis freedom.
"So I will be introducing, when I go back to the Senate a week from Monday, a bipartisan bill in the Senate to continue to support this important Kentucky industry; it will be the Hemp Farm Act of 2018. What will it do?" he said. The act would also give hemp researchers the chance to apply for competitive federal grants from the US Department of Agriculture, according to a press release from the senator's office.
In the past, Sen. If this bill passes (and it has not yet even been introduced, or even written), it would essentially legalize hemp farming, and the sale of CBD products, in all 50 states.
"It's now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop", McConnell said. He announced the imminent filing of the bill in Frankfort, Kentucky, alongside Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. The USDA has been blocked from prohibiting the transportation, sales or use of industrial hemp.
There is already a production facility run by GenCanna on the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky, which is a re-purposed former tobacco research facility. This legislation also will remove the federal barriers in place that have stifled the industry, which will help expand the domestic production of hemp.
The original Farm Bill said that it was okay to grow cannabis plants that had little ability to get people high. The agency in 2017 issued a statement to the site The Cannabist alerting consumers that it still considered CBD oil to be a Federal I controlled substance that can not legally be produced in the United States.
A study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded that hemp production "is not likely to generate sizeable profits" and also noted that global competition would affect the U.S. Most of the hemp for these sales was imported from China and Canada.