Before hemp was prohibited, along with cannabis via the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, it was mandatory for farmers to grow the crop. It is speculated that hemp’s ability to make paper, fiber, plastics and even fuel was a major reason for it being banned. Now, hemp is well on its way to making a comeback, and one of its most influential champions is Mitch McConnell.
It seems that hemp is one of the most bipartasan issues at hand, with parties on both sides of the isle agreeing that hemp should be descheduled at the federal level. And it just may. The idea is included in the upcoming Federal Farm Bill. Descheduling hemp would open the doors to farmers who are yet nervous about its Schedule I status to grow the crop, which is primarily an import to the U.S. at this point.
Growing hemp domestically wouldn’t just provide farmers the chance to prosper, it would be a step in the green revolution’s direction. In time and with the right equipment and foresight, hemp could replace the need to cut down acres upon acres of trees for paper and building materials. Like Gerald Ford once envisioned, we could make cars from hemp and even airplanes. The possibilities are literally endless with this diverse and useful crop.
McConnell’s state of Kentucky has a long history with hemp, which was once its main cash crop. McConnell has been a longtime advocate for descheduling hemp, but with provisions in place. This is the basic gist of what hemp reform looks like through McConnell colored glasses:
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Hemp will be removed from the government list of controlled substances. Hemp will be regulated from state to state. Hemp researchers will be able to apply for federal grants, which would be enormous for the hemp CBD industry as well. Hemp farmers will be able to apply for crop insurance.
It is yet unclear if all of the above will be included in the final version of the Bill, but what is clear is that McConnell’s support would make all the difference and would likely mean that all of the above would be included. This would be a major step forward for the United States agricultural landscape and would mean the world to farmers who are currently struggling to make ends meet.