Despite majority public support in favor of marijuana legalization, and super-majority support in favor of medical cannabis access, members of Congress have nonetheless been reticent to move forward with any significant changes to federal pot policy. That is, until now.
Following last week’s midterm election results, legislative leaders in both the House and Senate appear ready to take on the cannabis issue.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged that language lifting the federal government’s longstanding ban on industrial hemp will be included in the engrossed version of HR 2: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the farm bill) — must-pass legislation that is currently being finalized in conference committee.
Speaking with reporters, the GOP leader said: “If there’s a Farm Bill, it’ll be in there. I guarantee that. … I don’t want to overstate this – I don’t know if it’s going to be the next tobacco or not – but I do think it has a lot of potential. And as all of you already know, in terms of food and medicine but also car parts. I mean, it’s an extraordinary plant.”
The hemp-specific provisions — which were approved in the Senate’s version of the farm bill, but were not included in the House’s language — amend federal regulations to expand and facilitate state-licensed hemp production, research, and commerce. [Read More @ The Hill]