After months of negotiating, a US House and Senate committee has come to what they are calling an “agreement in principle” on the Farm Bill, ending the stalemate that threatened to kill the entire bill. And, more importantly, it has been confirmed that the final bill includes Mitch McConnell’s provision to legalize hemp.
The Senate and House committee leaders at the forefront of the bill – Agriculture Committee Chairmen Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Pat Roberts (R- Kan.) and Ranking Members Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) – have said they were now waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score the bill.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 farm bill,” the four committee members said in a statement. “We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”
The latest version of the farm bill contains sweeping hemp reform, which would legalize the plant for the first time in decades and would separate its status from cannabis as a controlled substance. The ramifications of the bill would be unprecedented for the CBD industry.
The bill has further to go before it becomes law. It has to pass both chambers of Congress before the end of the year, before heading to the Trump’s desk for his signature.
Advocates are nevertheless pleased with the decision.
“For the first time in nearly a hundred years, commercial hemp production will no longer be federally prohibited in the United States,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “This represents a significant and long overdue shift in US policy.”