McConnell bill would legalize hemp as agricultural product

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Harris keeps up 'little dude' attack on Trump after debate 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 WydenKey Senate Democrat unveils proposal to tax the rich Overnight Health Care: Trump seeks ban on flavored e-cigarettes | Purdue Pharma nears settlement with states, cities over alleged role in opioid epidemic | Senate panel cancels vote on key spending bill amid standoff Pelosi woos progressives on prescription drug pricing plan MORE (D-Ore.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPaul calls into Wyoming TV station to talk Cheney feud Liz Cheney and Rand Paul extend war of words Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis 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.