Hemp could be made whole again — and explicitly legal — under a new bill introduced Thursday by the leader of the U.S. Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Hemp Farming Act of 2018 aims to establish hemp as an agricultural commodity, protect state regimes, add crop insurance, and bolster research. And right off the bat, the bill quashes questions about whether those hemp-derived CBD-rich extracts are indeed legal:
“The term ‘hemp’ means 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 delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
The bill, if successful, would end the debate that has picked apart the hemp plant in piecemeal and end interpretations that hemp-derived extracts rich in cannabinol and other cannabinoids are illicit substances, hemp advocates say.
“Even though we believe that the Farm Bill language that said, ‘all parts of the plant’ (established legality for extracts), it could not be more clear that hemp, the plant, hemp extracts, hemp derivatives, hemp-derived CBD … they’ll all be made legal,” said Jonathan Miller, legal counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an organization lobbying for more robust federal hemp laws.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was co-introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
“By legalizing hemp and empowering states to conduct their own oversight plans, we can give the hemp industry the tools necessary to create jobs and new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers around the country,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.