Hemp Supporters Cheer Crop's Inclusion In Farm Bill Deal

Dec 11, 2018

Hemp's supporters are cheering a final agreement on the federal farm bill that would legalize the crop that's making a comeback in Kentucky.

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, David Williams, right, speaks to media after a small plot of hemp was harvested at a University of Kentucky farm near Lexington, Ky.
Credit AP Photo/Dylan Lovan, File

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the crop is "ready to take off" and has the potential to become a significant cash crop.

McConnell has played a key role in turning hemp into a legal crop by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances.

Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned decades ago because of its ties 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.

The 2014 farm bill allowed hemp to be grown on an experimental basis. Kentucky farmers planted 6,700 acres (2,710 hectares) of hemp in 2018.

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