By Adam Bean, Associate Press
(AP) — Declaring he has “won the argument” on hemp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on June 12th that the Senate is on track for a vote to legalize the crop that comes from the same plant that produces marijuana.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider the farm bill on June 13th. It will include a provision to remove hemp from a list of Schedule I controlled substances, making it legal for farmers to grow and sell the crop. Although far from becoming law, the step is noted progress for an idea that has faced staunch opposition among conservative lawmakers.
“We’ve won the argument that this is not about marijuana,” McConnell said about hemp. “Now we just need to pass the law. And I’m in a uniquely well-situated position to make that happen.”
Although the fledgling hemp and marijuana industries grew during the relaxed policies of former President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been less welcoming of the cannabis plant. But McConnell says he has spoken with Sessions about hemp, saying he doesn’t expect him to embrace it but “he certainly indicated he is not going to oppose us.”
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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