This Monday, Senator Mitch McConnell spoke to hemp advocates in Kentucky, his home state, and said that he would like to remove hemp from the controlled substances list. Hemp, a cousin crop of marijuana, is incredibly versatile and has been experimentally grown in recent years, but McConnell believes now is the time to get it back into the mainstream.
Given that Kentucky has been leading the charge for hemp to be legalized, it made sense for McConnell to discuss legalization with advocates there. Of course, Kentucky is not the only state excited about this push for legalization. Supporters in Pennsylvania are also thrilled about the prospect of this new legislation. This past February, the Department of Agriculture approved 39 research projects that will allow cultivation of about 1,000 acres of hemp and, last year, 14 growers produced a total of 36 acres of hemp statewide.
Attorney Andrew Sacks of Sacks Weston LLC and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee believes this is the biggest moment in recent hemp history and will create new jobs.
CBDs are the molecular compounds found in hemp products, which are said to relieve pain. However, cultivating hemp without a federal permit is against the law, given its close relations to marijuana and its trace amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Hemp has more uses than acting as a pain-reliever. In fact, in Kentucky, hemp was historically used for rope, clothing and mulch, hemp milk, cooking oil, and even soaps and lotions.
McConnell believes now that there is much more understanding and education regarding the useful crop, differentiating it from marijuana, removing it from the controlled substances should be something we are ready for.
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