Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has introduced legislation to exempt industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana, thereby allowing it to be legally cultivated nationwide.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill. Nearly 50 lawmakers of both parties signed onto the measure, including Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee.

{mosads}Massie thinks the measure could be signed into law during this Congress.

“I’m optimistic that we can get the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to the president’s desk this Congress,” Massie said in a statement.

Industrial hemp is related to marijuana but doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive intoxicant found in the drug. Hemp is frequently used in production of rope, food, clothing and other items.

Polis argued the federal restrictions for hemp don’t have a reasonable scientific or economic basis.

“The federal ban on hemp has been a waste of taxpayer dollars that ignores science, suppresses innovation, and subverts the will of states that have chosen to incorporate this versatile crop into their economies,” Polis said.

Massie introduced an identical bill in the last Congress, but it never received legislative action in committee or the floor.

Tags Hemp Mitch McConnell Thomas Massie

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