|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe Hemp, defined as cannabis with a THC content of 0.3% or less, should be removed as a schedule I drug. States should have the opportunity to become their own hemp regulators.
|You might oppose this bill if:
► You the believe the bill could open a pathway towards marijuana legalization, which you are against. The threat of the illicit drug trade associated with the cultivation of hemp/marijuana would not be in the public interest.
The Hemp Farming Act is a bipartisan bill which would legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity by removing it from the Schedule I controlled substances list. Hemp is derived from the cannabis plant, also referred to as marijuana, but has none of the psychoactive element of the cannabis plant. The legislation defines hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, THC being the principal psychoactive element in the plant. Hemp can be spun into usable fiber, which has a wide variety of commercial uses, including textiles, paper, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, animal feed, among many other uses.
Schedule I drugs are defined as controlled substances that have high risk or potential to be abused, have no current accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and have a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
The legislation would give states and U.S. territories the opportunity to become primary regulators of hemp, allowing hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hemp farmers would be eligible to apply for crop insurance, which would protect their crops against losses due to natural disasters and declines in the prices of agricultural commodities.
Hemp farmers would need to follow a set of regulations set forth by the legislation and their State. This includes getting a licence from the state. Should a farmer violate any of these rules, the bill specifically prevents the federal government from stepping in, protecting the farmer. Violating the rules does come with penalties though; three violations in a five year period would disqualify you from producing hemp for the next 5 years, beginning on the date of the third violation.
The Hemp Farming Act builds upon the 2014 Farm Bill, which included a provision secured by Senator McConnell to legalize hemp pilot programs.
Even though Senator McConnell is a strict adversary of legalized marijuana, Sen. McConnell's home state of Kentucky established a Hemp Research Pilot Program since the 2014 farm bill.
Those who oppose the legislation argue that the legislation could lead to marijuana legalization, which most members of Congress still oppose.
Greg Ibach, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, has cautioned against moving too fast as he believes the Hemp Farming Act might do.
Sponsored by: Rep. Comer, James [R-KY-1].
Cosponsored by: 4 Rep / 9 Dem.
Sponsored by: Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY].
Cosponsored by: 17 Rep / 10 Dem / 2 Ind.