The increase in elected Democrats resulting from the midterm elections have many people predicting that pro-marijuana laws are imminent at the federal level.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 will include ending the federal ban on industrial hemp, reports The Hill.
McConnell said, “If there’s a Farm Bill, it’ll be in there. I guarantee that… I don’t want to overstate this – I don’t know if it’s going to be the next tobacco or not – but I do think it has a lot of potential. And as all of you already know, in terms of food and medicine but also car parts. I mean, it’s an extraordinary plant.”
The provisions for industrial hemp include:
- Expand research
- Expand production
- Remove hemp with 0.3% THC or less from the Controlled Substances Act ‘s schedule 1 list
- Expand commerce
House Rules Committee chair Jim McGovern speculates that Congress will begin moving on a few pieces of marijuana legislation in the upcoming legislative session. McGovern wants debates to take place on marijuana.
“Unlike my predecessor, I’m not going to block amendments or marijuana,” McGovern said. “Citizens are passing ballot initiatives, legislatures are passing laws, and we need to respect that. Federal laws and statues are way behind.”
McGovern said he’d prioritize legislation that limits government interference in legal states and wants to improve access to medical marijuana for veterans. He also wants to make it possible for banks to work with legally operating marijuana businesses.
McGovern said, “This just seems like common-sense stuff. Especially on the issue of medical marijuana — people who are opposed to that are just on the wrong side of public opinion, overwhelmingly. It’d be nice if, every once in a while, Congress acted in a way that people wanted. I know that may seem like a radical idea, but come on.”