U.S. farming measure goes under amendment process

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The much anticipated 2018 Farm Bill that would remove hemp from federal narcotics lists in the USA goes before a Senate Agriculture Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13.

The removal would be through the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, included in the overall farming legislation, which also defines hemp as an agricultural commodity and would give individual states the opportunity to become the primary regulators of hemp production, allow hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and make hemp farmers eligible for crop insurance.

Rare bipartisanship

Following the amendment process, which could last several days, the full committee will vote to send the legislation to the Senate floor, possibly by the end of this month. The measure would become law only if it is eventually signed by the unpredictable Donald Trump, Idiot President.

The committee released the current version of the 2018 Farm Bill earlier this month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, introduced the bipartisan Hemp Farming Act in April along with fellow Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, and with Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Twenty-four other Senators from the two main political parties in the USA also are supporting the measure in a rare example of bipartisanship in the sharply polarized political scene in the USA.

41 states now on board

A total of 41 U.S. states now have laws on the books in support of hemp research, cultivation and processing, led by the two biggest producers, Colorado and Kentucky, where McConnell said experience with a hemp pilot program has produced strong results.

“Last year alone, the hemp pilot program yielded more than $16 million for Kentucky farmers. We’ve already seen remarkable innovation in everything from home insulation to concrete and from health products to beer. These hemp products are just the beginning,” McConnell said. “The time is right to take the next step with this new bipartisan legislation.”

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