McConnell wants hemp removed from controlled substance list

National / World
Mitch McConnell_495087

Ready to leave for the Christmas recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to a news conference to discuss the GOP agenda for next year and and his accomplishments in the first year of the Trump Administration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. Their tax bill triumph in the rear-view mirror, […]

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The U.S. Senate’s top leader wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the list of controlled substances.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he’ll introduce legislation to legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity.

The Republican made the announcement in his home state of Kentucky, which has been at the forefront of hemp’s comeback.

Growing hemp without a federal permit has long been banned due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are the same species, but hemp has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

Hemp got a limited reprieve with the 2014 federal Farm Bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research and development. So far, more than 30 states have authorized hemp research.

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