Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signed the final draft of the 2018 Farm Bill with a pen made from hemp on Dec. 10. On Dec. 11, with an 87-to-13 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill. The Farm Bill includes McConnell’s legislation to legalize industrial hemp on the federal level and is expected to be a milestone for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) companies.
Hemp reform has evolved into a bipartisan issue, with support coming from nearly all political parties. On March 26, McConnell introduced legislation to deschedule hemp on the federal level, and on April 24, announced that he would be adding that legislation to the 2018 Farm Bill.
Making it official with my hemp pen!?? Proud to have served as conferee on #FarmBill & to fight for #Kentucky priorities. With today’s signature, my provision to legalize industrial #hemp is 1 step closer to reality. Looking forward to voting YES on this bill & sending to @POTUS pic.twitter.com/8ypwBebXy7
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 10, 2018
The bill would legalize industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity by finally removing if from the Controlled Substances List. It would also give states the power as the primary regulators of industrial hemp production. It would also give hemp researchers the ability to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is our opportunity to make the American food and agriculture systems work more efficiently. I’m pleased to say we have done just that in this conference report. … I thank my counterparts in the Senate and House for coming to—and staying at—the table to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement for rural America,” Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement after the Senate approved the bill.
In a nutshell, the 2018 Farm Bill would revolutionize the way hemp and hemp-derived products are treated in the United States. The bill how heads to the House for approval, which is expected, as both chambers agreed upon a compromise, and finally to President Donald Trump’s desk, who is expected to sign.
CBD companies across America are bracing for the potential revolution of hemp-derived CBD products, which could happen soon. Even tobacco farmers are catching wind and switching to hemp cultivation.
Read the 807-page bill in its entirety here.