McConnell bill would legalize hemp as agricultural product

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE (R-Ky.) announced a new bill on Monday that would legalize hemp as an agricultural product.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 would legalize hemp, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances and allowing it to be sold as an agricultural commodity, according to WKYT.

"Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky's agriculture heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future," McConnell said in a statement.

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If approved, the act would allow states to control their own hemp regulations by removing federal restrictions. WKYT also reported it would give hemp researchers the ability to apply for grants through the Department of Agriculture.

McConnell announced the bill with Republican Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. The bill is being co-sponsored by Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream Booker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant MORE (D-Ore.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Trump: 'Everybody knows who the whistleblower is' Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-Ky.)

Kentucky is currently conducting a pilot program through the Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, WDRB reported Monday.

A team at the University of Louisville began harvesting the crop on campus in 2016 to study its use as a biofuel and energy source.