McConnell bill would legalize hemp as agricultural product

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok 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 WydenTrump administration to impose tariffs on French products in response to digital tax Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits MORE (D-Ore.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard Paul'Live with it' is the new GOP response to COVID — but no, we can't do that Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide 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.