Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the chamber floor and laid out his case for the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, calling hemp a cash crop for the nation’s struggling farmers, a modernization of federal law, a “new spark” for the U.S. economy.

McConnell was also the driving force securing the language in the 2014 Farm Bill that has allowed states to create their own hemp pilot programs – of which 34 states have taken advantage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The new bi-partisan legislation would effectively codify the language in the Farm Bill while allowing hemp farmers to access federal funding for research and protecting farms under the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

“The results of [the pilot programs] have been extraordinary,” McConnell said during his remarks introducing the legislation, explaining that in his home state hemp is being used for hempcrete and home insulation, its extracts researched for health benefits, and it’s become an ingredient in beer. The industry, McConnell said, created 87 jobs in Kentucky last year and more than $16 million in revenues.

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), the Democratic co-sponsor, called McConnell’s support for the reforms “a milestone.” He said the measure lifts a federal restriction that is “anti-farmer,” “anti-consumer” and “anti-common sense.”

“This industrial hemp restriction really, in my view, is working needless hardship from sea-to-shining-sea,” Wyden said on the Senate floor, noting that hemp products can be purchased in major U.S. supermarkets but they are cultivated and processed outside of the country. “… Our farmers ought to be able to grow it.”

The current policy, Wyden contended, is “somehow based on the idea that hemp is a dangerous drug” and has led to handcuffed farmers and diminished consumer options.

“The only thing you are going to accomplish [by smoking hemp] is wasting your breath, wasting your time and wasting lighter fluid,” he explained. “This misguided policy of treating hemp like it is some kind of perilous, imminent threat to the American people is, I think, a mistake.”

McConnell noted that there is a burgeoning community of young farmers in his state “with genuine enthusiasm about what [hemp] could mean to help reinvigorate a rural economy in Kentucky that is not what it used to be.”

On Monday, the Senate invoked Rule 14 – a procedural move allowing the measure to skip the committee process – effectively fast-tracking the bill, according to a Hill report. Using the move doesn’t always guarantee that a bill will make it to the floor to a vote and McConnell’s office told the Hill that they didn’t have guidance or an announcement about when, or if, the measure would get a vote.

A field of young hemp plants photographed on a sunny day. Photo credit: Lesley L.

In a statement, Hemp Industries Association Executive Director Colleen Keahey said the reforms are “critical to the advancement of hundreds of farmers and stakeholders that the HIA represents.”

The group said the measure would allow U.S.-grown hemp to gain organic certification from the Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (which already recognizes certified organic Canadian hemp products); protect interstate commerce; normalize financial services; ensure water rights for hemp farmers; and advance research opportunities.

Moreover, the organization says the bill would protect “the legality of production and consumption of the diverse array of hemp products,” including CBD.

The HIA is currently locked in litigation with the Drug Enforcement Agency over their move to classify CBD under the federal definition of “marijuana,” therefore a Schedule I drug.

Paul Armentano, deputy director for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, disagrees with the position of the HIA, pointing to the policies of the DEA, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes for Drug Abuse that treat CBD as Schedule I substances.

“The McConnell legislation does not change this fact,” Armentano wrote in an email, noting the HIA lawsuit. “The DEA further contends that it possesses regulatory authority of CBD extracts, including in instances where CBD was ostensibly derived from hemp.”

The bill defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” Products that meet this definition would be removed from the Controlled Substances Act, according to the bill.

None of the bill sponsors – McConnell, Wyden, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), or Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) returned requests for clarification on the CBD issue. However, in 2014, McConnell told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he was frustrated the DEA was using “its finite resources to stymie plainly lawful hemp pilot projects” while the state deals with an opioid epidemic.

In an interview with FoodNavigator-USA, Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, said the Majority Leader is “making it very clear that CBD is included in the definition and will be part of the industry.” Vote Hemp and the Hemp Business Journal estimate the total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2016 was $688 million. The analysts projected the market would grow at a 22 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020. The analysis found personal care products comprised 24 percent of the market in 2016 ($163 million), followed by CBD, food (19 percent, about $130 million each), industrial applications (18 percent, $125.5 million), consumer textiles (14 percent, $99.5 million), supplements (4 percent, $26 million), and $14.4 million (2 percent) in other consumer products, such as paper and construction materials.

The report suggests that CBD will grow at a 53 percent annual rate.

McConnell told McClatchy he would give the bill “everything we’ve got.”

Do you own a cannabis industry business? Create a listing in our directory and get discovered by new clients - Click Here
.

Tags: , , , , , , , | Categories: Cannabis Politics Industrial Hemp News

Learn about cannabis businesses:

View the directory | Get featured here

  • New Approach Bookkeeping LLC

    We have been providing financial support since 2013 for Cannabis Growers/Producers, Retailers/Dispensaries, Delivery, Processors, and all those in between. We understand 280e and 263a publications and how it affects the cannabis industry.

  • Hay & Associates

    We are a full-service Accounting firm licensed in CA. We offer a broad range of services for business owners, executives, and independent professionals. We are affordable, experienced, and friendly.

  • HempStaff

    HempStaff is an industry leader in Marijuana Industry Recruiting and Dispensary Training. We strive to find the perfect match for Employers and Employees in the Cannabis Industry. From Dispensary Managers and Master Growers to Cannabis Chefs and Trimmers, we find the right match for both our clients and candidates. We are currently working with marijuana business owners across America to help them locate qualified employees as well as providing Dispensary Training for the entry level employee in states with new markets.

  • Evergreen Gateway

    Evergreen Gateway is a cannabis banking and merchant services company. We think differently than conventional credit card processing companies due to our history of handling high-risk accounts. We are experts in the field of alternative payment options, merchant accounts, and banking. Our mission and vision are to provide needed customer support services to the cannabis industry within these areas.

  • CannaSafe Solutions

    CannaSafe Solutions is the one-stop-shop for all the safety needs of your cannabis growhouse, dispensary, lab, or edibles manufacturing facility. We provide all of the safety equipment and apparel you need to protect your employees, your plants, and your business.

  • Harbor Collective MMCC

    Harbor Collective is your Downtown San Diego dispensary. 100% LEGAL! Voted Best City-Approved Medical Marijuana Dispensary in San Diego. Harbor Collective MMCC provides quality flowers of Indica, Sativa and Hybrids. We also have a wide selection of Moon Rocks, Cartridges, Edibles, Topicals, Pre-Rolls, Extract Wax and Extract Concentrates. We carry a selection of clones for sale but they sell fast so back orders are sometimes expected. We have great deals on Eternal Cartridges at 4 for $100! and much more! View our special offers page to benefit from our friendly hearts.

  • Go Green Hemp

    GoGreen Hemp specializes in everything CBD. We sell directly to consumers as well as to wholesalers and those interested in white label products. Our current product line consists of Gel Capsules, Gummies, Oil Drops and Balms.

  • Viridian Staffing

    Founded in 2013 and dedicated solely to all sectors of the cannabis industry (Medical, Adult Use, Industrial Hemp and Ancillaries), our highly experienced recruiters have over a decade of experience (each) in human resources, staffing and recruiting for Fortune 500/100 companies across a broad spectrum of closely related industries including: food & beverage, agriculture, consumer packaged goods, software, medical technology and paper/pulp.

  • CORE Security Solutions

    CORE Security Solutions, Inc. provides security services to a wide array of clients, including the rapidly growing cannabis industry. We are fully licensed and insured by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). We currently provide security services to several local cannabis dispensaries in the Bay Area and secure transport and delivery services for cannabis products and proceeds throughout California. Our security specialists are all licensed and our transport vehicles are equipped with secure storage and GPS tracking.

  • PayQwick, Inc.

    PayQwick’s mission is to bring well-established, proven payment processing, regulatory compliance and banking services to the licensed recreational and medical marijuana industries, thereby reducing the risk of violent crime, illegal money laundering and violation of state marijuana regulations. PayQwick serves state licensed Producers, Processors, Wholesalers, Distributors, Dispensaries and Retailers.

  • Headset

    Headset is the first real-time business intelligence and analytics service for the cannabis industry. We are a data-driven cannabis tech company and we’re passionate about helping the industry succeed. Our services cover an array of specialized needs that businesses in the industry have, be they growers, extractors, processors, or retailers.

  • My Cannabis Accountant

    We are a Boutique Accounting firm focused on the cannabis industry. Our management team has over 100 years of combined experience in public accounting. Running a legal cannabis-based business can be complicated. Let us make sure your business is compliant with all federal, state and local financial regulations so that you can focus on your business.

Want a job in the cannabis industry?

Sign up to apply for unlimited jobs and get discovered by companies who are hiring

Post Your Resume View all jobs

Best vacancies

Subscribe for daily cannabis news, announcements, and business insights.

www.topobzor.info

https://best-mining.com.ua

http://alt-energy.in.ua