The U.S. Senate’s top leader wants to bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing which coming from the list of controlled substances.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday which he’ll introduce legislation to legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity.
The Republican made the announcement in his home state of Kentucky, which has been at the forefront of hemp’s comeback.
Growing hemp without a federal permit has long been banned due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp as well as marijuana are the same species, although hemp includes a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound which gives marijuana users a high.
Hemp got a limited reprieve with the 2014 federal Farm Bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research as well as development. So far, more than 30 states have authorized hemp research.