On April 12, 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S. 2667, The Hemp Farming Act of 2018. The bill defines hemp as Cannabis with 0.3% THC or less by dry weight including all parts of the plant and removes it from the Controlled Substances Act. It allows states to regulate commercial hemp farming after submitting a plan to regulate it to the USDA. The bill authorizes crop insurance for hemp and provides funding for hemp research.
The bill also defines hemp more broadly than the previous Farm Bill and now explicitly includes extracts and cannabinoids derived from the plant.
Vote Hemp supports this important legislation and issued a press release announcing the release of the new bill. We also sent a letter of support to Senator McConnell and the other original bill sponsors.
The bill language was included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill and was voted out of committee on a vote of 20-1. On June 28th, the Senate voted 86-11 to pass its version of the Farm Bill. On December 20th of 2018, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law legalizing hemp.
Senator McConnell gave a bill introduction speech on the floor of the Senate which can be viewed in its entirety below.
The History of Federal Hemp Legislation
Vote Hemp was founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry and has been at the forefront of efforts to bring hemp back as a crop. Vote Hemp was the only group working to educate members of Congress and their staffs for many of the past 18 years. We worked with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to draft and build support for the first federal hemp bill in 2005. We have been involved in efforts on many pieces of hemp legislation since that time and track the history of federal hemp legislation.
Vote Hemp has worked with the Congressional Research Service (CRS) since 2005 to educate them and provide data and updates to include in their reports on hemp to Congress. The CRS reports are non-partisan and have been immensely helpful in educating members of Congress and their staff on the facts about industrial hemp.