U.S. Senator from Kentucky
for Oregon's 3rd
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.
Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis; C. ruderalis may be included within C. sativa; all three may be treated as subspecies of a single species, C. sativa; or C. sativa may be accepted as a single undivided species. The genus is widely accepted as being indigenous to and originating from Central Asia, with some researchers also including upper South Asia in its origin.
The 2018 farm bill or Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 is United States legislation that reauthorized many expenditures in the prior United States farm bill: the Agricultural Act of 2014. The $867 billion reconciled farm bill was passed by the Senate on December 11, 2018, and by the House on December 12. On December 20, 2018, it received President Donald Trump's signature and became law.
In late March 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would introduce legislation legalizing hemp production in his state, Kentucky, and nationally.McConnell introduced the bill, S.2667, on the Senate floor on April 12, 2018, co-sponsored by Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. McConnell announced that Representative James Comer of Kentucky would introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives. The companion bill, H.R. 5485, was introduced on April 12, with Colorado Representative Jared Polis co-sponsoring.
Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. is an American politician serving as Kentucky's senior United States senator and as Senate Majority Leader. McConnell is the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate, the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senate leader in history.
Ronald Lee Wyden is the senior United States Senator for Oregon since 1996. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until 1996. He is the current dean of Oregon's congressional delegation.
Jeffrey Alan Merkley is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Oregon since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Prior to his election to the Senate, Merkley was a five-term member of the Oregon House of Representatives representing the state's 47th district, in central Multnomah County at the eastern side of Portland. From 2007 to 2009 he was Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.
In addition to removing low-THC cannabis from regulation under the Controlled Substances Act, the 2018 act would avail hemp farmers of water rights and federal agricultural grants, and make the national banking system (in a gray area for the cannabis industry) accessible to farmers and others involved; and allow for other benefits of production of a recognized crop such as marketing, agronomy research, and crop insurance.
The removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs that have "no currently accepted medical use," has been proposed repeatedly since 1972.
The cannabis industry is composed of legal cultivators and producers, consumers, independent industrial standards bodies, ancillary products and services, regulators and researchers concerning cannabis and its industrial derivative, hemp. The cannabis industry has been inhibited by regulatory restrictions for most of recent history, but the legal market has emerged rapidly as more governments legalize medical and adult use. Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational marijuana through legislation in December, 2013 Cannabis in Uruguay. Canada became the first country to legalize private sales of recreational marijuana with Bill C-45 in 2018 Cannabis in Canada.
Hemp production in the United States essentially ceased in the 1950s due to market conditions and federal regulations.Since the mid-1990s, there has been a resurgence of interest in the United States in producing industrial hemp. Executive Order 12919 (1994) identified hemp as a strategic national product that should be stockpiled.
The 2018 legislation was preceded by a failed Industrial Hemp Farming Act (109th Congress [House] and 114th Congress [Senate]) and a hemp- and CBD-related attempt to amend to the Controlled Substances Act (114th Congress);and the Agricultural Act of 2014, which created a regulated, national agricultural hemp pilot program under which states could create their own pilot program regulations. There existed "ongoing tension between federal and state authorities over state hemp policies" due to non-cooperation of the DEA with state programs, and lawsuits brought or threatened by farmers and states against the DEA. The DEA and conflicting Federal court decisions regarding "low THC content [hemp] and marijuana of greater THC content" left a perplexing environment for would-be producers with "general uncertainty about how federal authorities will respond to production in states where state laws allow cultivation", especially after the Justice Department's 2018 recission of the 2013 Cole Memorandum. By 2018, groups calling for de-scheduling of hemp included the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Farmers Union and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The Agricultural Act of 2014, formerly the "Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013", is an act of Congress that authorizes nutrition and agriculture programs in the United States for the years of 2014-2018. The bill authorizes $956 billion in spending over the next ten years.
The Cole Memorandum was a United States Department of Justice memorandum issued August 29, 2013, by United States Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole during the presidency of Barack Obama. The memorandum, sent to all United States Attorneys, governed federal prosecution of offenses related to marijuana. The memo stated that given its limited resources, the Justice Department would not enforce federal marijuana prohibition in states that "legalized marijuana in some form and ... implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana," except where a lack of federal enforcement would undermine federal priorities.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), more commonly referred to as Farm Bureau (FB), is a United States-based lobbying group that represents American farmers and ranchers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Farm Bureau has affiliates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
In April, the Senate invoked Rule 14 and skipped over committees or debate, and placed the bill directly on its calendar.
The 2018 farm bill was sent to conference committee in mid 2018. The Associated Press noted appointment of first-term Representative James Comer, a Republican Kentucky hemp supporter and the state's former agriculture commissioner, to the committee.The compromise version of the farm bill reached by both houses of Congress in late November, 2018 – after McConnell put himself on the conference committee – includes the hemp provisions of the Hemp Farming Act. Roll Call called passage of hemp legalization a "an early plank of the Kentucky Republican [Mitch McConnell]'s 2020 re-election bid" soon after the $867 billion farm bill was passed by the Senate on December 11, 2018, signed by McConnell with a hemp pen.
In October, 2018, with House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill being reconciled, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture made plans to begin harmonizing state-level hemp THC testing in anticipation of passage of the Federal act.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
The legal history of cannabis in the United States pertains to the regulation of cannabis for medical, recreational, and industrial purposes in the United States. Increased restrictions and labeling of cannabis as a poison began in many states from 1906 onward, and outright prohibitions began in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s cannabis was regulated as a drug in every state, including 35 states that adopted the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act. The first national regulation was the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
The use, sale, and possession of cannabis over 0.3% THC in the United States, despite state laws, is illegal under federal law. As a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, cannabis over 0.3% THC is considered to have "no accepted medical use" and have a high potential for abuse and physical or psychological dependence. Cannabis use is illegal for any reason, with the exception of FDA-approved research programs. However, individual states have enacted legislation permitting exemptions for various uses, mainly for medical and industrial use but also including recreational use.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 (H.R.1866) that was introduced during the 111th United States Congress by House Republican Ron Paul of Texas) and House Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts) on April 2, 2009. It sought to clarify the differences between marijuana and industrial hemp as well as repeal federal laws that prohibit cultivation of industrial, but only for research facilities of higher education from conducting research. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oil-seed and fibers varieties of, predominantly, the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is a sustainable resource that can be used to create thousands of different products including fuel, fabrics, paper, household products, and food and has been used for hundreds of centuries by civilizations around the world. If H.R.1866 passes American farmers will be permitted to compete in global hemp markets. On March 10, 2009, both Paul and Frank wrote a letter to their Congressional colleagues urging them to support the legislation. This bill was previously introduced in 2005 under the title of Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005.
In the United States, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is legal in 33 states, four permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as of January 2019. Fourteen other states have more restrictive laws limiting THC content, for the purpose of allowing access to products that are rich in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis. There is considerable variation in medical cannabis laws from state to state, including how it is produced and distributed, how it can be consumed, and what medical conditions it can be used for.
Cannabis in California is legal for medical use since 1996, and for recreational use since late 2016. The state of California has been at the forefront of efforts to liberalize cannabis laws in the United States, beginning in 1972 with the nation's first ballot initiative attempting to legalize cannabis. Although it was unsuccessful, California would later become the first state to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. In November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. The use, sale, and possession of cannabis over 0.3% THC in the United States remains illegal under federal law.
In the United States, the use and possession of cannabis is illegal under federal law for any purpose, by way of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under the CSA, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I substance, determined to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use – thereby prohibiting even medical use of the drug. At the state level, however, policies regarding the medical and recreational use of cannabis vary greatly, and in many states conflict significantly with federal law.
James Richardson Comer Jr. is an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky who currently represents the state's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He previously served as the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky from 2012 to 2016 and in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2000 to 2012.
Charlotte's Web is a high-cannabidiol (CBD), low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabis strain marketed as a dietary supplement under federal law of the United States. It is produced by the Stanley brothers in Colorado. It does not induce the psychoactive "high" typically associated with recreational marijuana strains that are high in THC. In September 2014, the Stanleys announced that they would ensure that the product consistently contained less than 0.3% THC.
Cannabis in Wisconsin is illegal with the exception of non-psychoactive CBD oil and industrial hemp. Various fines and prison terms apply to cannabis possession, sale, or cultivation. CBD oil was legalized in 2014, but under tight controls and for a very limited number of conditions, primarily seizures. Wisconsin was historically a major producer of industrial hemp until 1958, though a 2017 law has re-opened Wisconsin for hemp farming.
Cannabis in Texas is illegal for recreational use. Possession of up to two ounces is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in prison, a fine of up to $2000, and the suspension of one's driver's license. Several of the state's major municipalities have enacted reforms to apply lesser penalties, however.
Cannabis in South Carolina, United States, is illegal for recreational and medical purposes, but use of low-THC CBD oil is allowed for certain conditions.
Kentucky was the greatest producer of hemp in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, when it was the source of three fourths of U.S. hemp fiber. Production started to decline after World War I due to the rise of tobacco as the cash crop in Kentucky and the foreign competition of hemp fibers and finished products. In 1970, federal policies virtually banned the production of industrial hemp during the War on Drugs saying all Cannabis sativa is a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal law under the Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed research back into hemp. Kentucky began production again with 33 acres in 2014. As of 2016 harvest season, only two U.S. states other than Kentucky had over 100 acres (40 ha) in hemp production: Colorado and Tennessee. The first 500-acre commercial crop was planted in Harrison County in 2017, and research permits were issued for over 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) that year. The 2016 documentary Harvesting Liberty concerns the 21st century Kentucky hemp industry.
Hemp in Washington State has emerged as an experimental crop in the 21st century.
Hemp Industries Association v. Drug Enforcement Administration, often shortened to HIA v. DEA, refers to two lawsuits concerning the legality of cannabis extracts and other products from the hemp plant that have very low or nonexistent natural THC levels, including CBD oil, in the United States. The first is from 2004 and the second is from 2018.
Hemp in the United States has gone from a legal crop in the 18th and 19th centuries, to a banned substance in the 20th century, and has returned as a legal crop in the 21st century. By 2019, the United States had become the world's third largest producer of hemp, behind China and Canada.
Ecofibre Limited is an Australian listed biotechnology company that produces and sells hemp derived products to consumers and retailers in the United States and Australia. The company's products include cannabinoid (CBD) oil and nutraceuticals as well as hemp derived food and textiles.
Mitch McConnell inserted language from his Hemp Farming Act of 2018 into the Farm Bill to legalize the cultivation and sale of [cannabis]
The bill includes a provision that would make hemp a legal agricultural commodity after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky championed the proposal, even joining the farm bill conference committee to ensure it would be incorporated. Among other changes to existing law, hemp will be removed from the federal list of controlled substances and hemp farmers will be able to apply for crop insurance.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
[I]industrial hemp cannot be legally grown in the United States because the D.E.A. refuses to grant farmers and entrepreneurs the required permit, Number 225, which would allow the licensee to 'manufacture' a 'controlled substance.' The D.E.A. has never granted these permits.