After an 86-11 vote from the United States Senate, nationwide hemp cultivation is set to become legal as the Farm Bill makes its way to the President’s desk.
Before the bill makes it to President Trump, it still needs to get through the Senate Conference Committee. The Farm bill is actually a large bill that encompasses many policies related to farming and agriculture through 2023, with hemp being just a small aspect. However, should the farm bill pass as it’s currently written, it would be a huge win for the American hemp industry.
The Federal Rescheduling of Hemp
For now, hemp is a Schedule 1 drug along with standard cannabis and all of its extracts. This has long been a major roadblock in the industry not only because it threatens production and supply, but it’s the main reason the US can’t get past the research stage and conduct some large-scale clinical trials.
United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who also runs the Kentucky Agriculture Hemp Program – wants to use the state’s cultivation and distribution methods as the national model.
“This is really great news, we’ve been working on this for a really long time,” said Jason Amatucci, Founder and Executive Director of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. “We’ve never been able to get it to committee, but this year we were able to through Mitch McConnell to get this Hemp Farming Act into the Senate Farm Bill. “This will open up market options. Getting seeds has been time consuming and costly. Hopefully with reasonable regulatory policies the cost and availability of seeds should improve. And the biggest thing is that companies will invest in processing facilities that will create markets for hemp farmers.”
Now, we wait for the Conference Committee to overlook the bill and consolidate amendments made by the House and Senate, which is expected to take place sometime this month.