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Mitch McConnell renews the pressure to legalize industrial hemp

The impetus to make hemp, a non-psychoactive relative of marijuana, a legal cash crop in the United States, gained a new lease on Monday from the country's most powerful senator.

Senate Majority Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said he would introduce a bill to remove hemp from the federal government's list of controlled substances, renewing an effort made by the two parties – including McConnell, but never so excited. [19659003] "Hemp has played an important role in Kentucky's agricultural heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future," said McConnell in a statement published by his bureau. He announced the immediate submission of the bill in Frankfort, Kentucky, alongside Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis that resembles marijuana but contains negligible amounts of the intoxicating component THC. Hemp fibers can be used to make ropes, fabrics and paper, while hemp oil can be used in cosmetics, food, paper and other products.

McConnell has been an advocate of hemp cultivation for at least four years. In 2014, he supported a provision in this year's farm bill to facilitate a hemp growing pilot program in his home country, and the following year he sponsored a hemp legalization bill by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden , was introduced (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Paul has played a key role in convincing McConnell to become a hemp industry advocate.

With McConnell, a major sponsor and significant cross-party support for the legalization of hemp, the effort could find new success this year – despite McConnell's lack of immediate announcement

"It's time to take the final step and make this a legal crop, "said McConnell in a report by the Associated Press in Frankfurt. While hemp from the list of controlled substances would mean that farmers would no longer need federal approval, the Hemp Agriculture Act of 2018 would still give the federal agriculture ministry oversight over federal hemp production programs, according to information released by McConnells office.

would also provide hemp researchers developing cultivation methods and uses for the plant with competitive aid.

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