The Midwestern winds of optimism within the farming community for the 2018 Farm Bill and the potential for full legalization of hemp and hemp-based products, could be blown away with one swipe of the legislative pen.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sponsored an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill, which remains poised to pass the U.S. Senate before the end of the year. Provisions of the Farm Bill are expected to help legalize hemp, a medical and manufacturing benefit to many.
However, through Grassley’s short-sighted efforts in the Agriculture Committee, the amendment he filed could leave the hemp industry devastated.
Also endangered is cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of hemp. If the amendment passes, CBD, which is proven to aid stricken individuals with epilepsy and seizures, could be treated as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD and mescaline.
Despite hemp only possessing faint traces of THC, the marijuana plant’s psychoactive ingredient, Grassley’s amendment called for the exclusion of CBDs, extracts, and derivatives of the hemp plant, according to the legislation. Grassley also created language for medical marijuana research.
The Farm Bill was introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, with bi-partisan support.
With American farmers struggling to make ends meet, the production of hemp was expected to create additional revenue streams for farmers.
That is a good question for your local lawmakers.
The 2018 Farm Bill was passed by a Senate Committee last night with a 20-1 vote. The good news? The Grassley amendment was not part of the bill.
The fight isn’t over, though — Grassley has stated he’d like to “meet with other Senators” to incorporate his ideas into the final bill at some point in the very near future.