The 2018 Hemp Farming Act will foster economic revitalization and save American lives!

S. 2667: Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (the 2018 Hemp Farming Act) fully legalizes hemp. It was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate’s most stringent adversaries of legalized marijuana. It removes most existing restrictions or regulations limiting hemp growers’ access to banking or crop insurance, among other things.

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H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) amends and extends major programs for income support, food and nutrition, land conservation, trade promotion, rural development, research, forestry, horticulture, and other miscellaneous programs administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for five years through 2023.

S. 2667: Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (the 2018 Hemp Farming Act) legalizes industrial hemp and makes hemp producers eligible for the federal crop insurance programs.

While Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level. There was a lingering question as to whether America should legalize a non-drug variant with agricultural and industrial uses? Mitch McConnell thought so despite his strong opposition to legalizing marijuana.

What the 2018 Hemp Farming Act does

The 2018 Hemp Farming Act fully legalizes hemp. It was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate’s most stringent adversaries of legalized marijuana and became law on December 20, 2018.

It removes most existing restrictions or regulations limiting hemp growers’ access to banking or crop insurance, among other things.

The legislation was introduced by in the Senate by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as S. 2667, and in the House by Rep. James Comer (R-KY1) as H.R. 5485.

2018_Hemp_Farming_Act_00021

Congress made significant changes to federal policies regarding hemp in the 2014 farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014, P.L. 113-79). The 2014 farm bill provided that certain research institutions and state departments of agriculture may grow hemp under an agricultural pilot program. In addition, in subsequent omnibus appropriations, Congress had blocked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and federal law enforcement authorities from interfering with state agencies, hemp growers, and agricultural research. Appropriators had also blocked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from prohibiting the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with the 2014 farm bill provision.

Despite these efforts, industrial hemp continued to be subject to U.S. drug laws, and growing industrial hemp was restricted. Under U.S. drug policy, all cannabis varieties—including industrial hemp—were considered Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA),1 and DEA continued to control and regulate cannabis production.

Although hemp production was now allowed in accordance with the requirements under the 2014 farm bill provision, other aspects of hemp production were still subject to DEA oversight, including the importation of viable seeds.

Congress had sought to further distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. Among the bills addressing industrial hemp, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act sought to amend the CSA to specify that the term marijuana does not include industrial hemp, thus excluding hemp from the CSA as a controlled substance subject to DEA regulation. This bill was reintroduced and expanded from bills introduced in previous Congresses dating back to the 109th Congress.

An expanded version of this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress in both the House and Senate (H.R. 5485; S. 2667). Other provisions in these bills would further facilitate hemp production in the United States. Many of the provisions in these bills were included in the Senate version of the 2018 farm bill legislation (S. 3042).

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H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) amends and extends major programs for income support, food and nutrition, land conservation, trade promotion, rural development, research, forestry, horticulture, and other miscellaneous programs administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for five years through 2023.

S. 2667: Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (the 2018 Hemp Farming Act) legalizes industrial hemp and makes hemp producers eligible for the federal crop insurance programs.

While Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level. There was a lingering question as to whether America should legalize a non-drug variant with agricultural and industrial uses? Mitch McConnell thought so despite his strong opposition to legalizing marijuana.

What the 2018 Hemp Farming Act does

The 2018 Hemp Farming Act fully legalizes hemp. It was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Senate’s most stringent adversaries of legalized marijuana and became law on December 20, 2018.

It removes most existing restrictions or regulations limiting hemp growers’ access to banking or crop insurance, among other things.

The legislation was introduced by in the Senate by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as S. 2667, and in the House by Rep. James Comer (R-KY1) as H.R. 5485.

2018_Hemp_Farming_Act_00021

Congress made significant changes to federal policies regarding hemp in the 2014 farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014, P.L. 113-79). The 2014 farm bill provided that certain research institutions and state departments of agriculture may grow hemp under an agricultural pilot program. In addition, in subsequent omnibus appropriations, Congress had blocked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and federal law enforcement authorities from interfering with state agencies, hemp growers, and agricultural research. Appropriators had also blocked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from prohibiting the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with the 2014 farm bill provision.

Despite these efforts, industrial hemp continued to be subject to U.S. drug laws, and growing industrial hemp was restricted. Under U.S. drug policy, all cannabis varieties—including industrial hemp—were considered Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA),1 and DEA continued to control and regulate cannabis production.

Although hemp production was now allowed in accordance with the requirements under the 2014 farm bill provision, other aspects of hemp production were still subject to DEA oversight, including the importation of viable seeds.

Congress had sought to further distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. Among the bills addressing industrial hemp, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act sought to amend the CSA to specify that the term marijuana does not include industrial hemp, thus excluding hemp from the CSA as a controlled substance subject to DEA regulation. This bill was reintroduced and expanded from bills introduced in previous Congresses dating back to the 109th Congress.

An expanded version of this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress in both the House and Senate (H.R. 5485; S. 2667). Other provisions in these bills would further facilitate hemp production in the United States. Many of the provisions in these bills were included in the Senate version of the 2018 farm bill legislation (S. 3042).

-Sponsor: Rep. Conaway, K. Michael [R-TX-11] (Introduced 04/12/2018)
-Committees: House – Agriculture
-Committee Reports: H. Rept. 115-661; H. Rept. 115-1072 (Conference Report)
-Latest Action: 12/20/2018 Became Public Law No: 115-334. (All Actions)
Roll Call Votes: There have been 21 roll call votes

#the2018FarmBill #2018HempFarmingAct #SolarFarmGrants #ReapGrants

Sources: Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
Renée Johnson | Specialist in Agricultural Policys

Summary