The Senate Agricultural Committee in the United States is in charge of legislative oversight of any legislative matter in relation to agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry, and health industries. This past Wednesday, the Committee passed the 2018 Farm Bill with a 20-1 vote. The passing of this bill in the House will legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp across country which will mark the reemergence of a multi-faceted crop with a wide range of eco-friendly applications.
The farm bill in the United States renews every five years. The 2014 Farm Bill, also written and supported by Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, allowed for states to implement a industrial hemp pilot program in conjunction with a university. The goal was to establish hemp as a viable agricultural resource and the basis of that research has helped hemp progress to where it is today in the country.
Senator Chuck Grassley was the only “no” vote on the passing of the bill. He wanted to implement provisions in place to limit government subsidies as well as ban derivatives to be extracted from hemp that can be utilized as a medicine.
The hope is that the 2018 Farm Bill, or better known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, will help revive the struggling farm industry in the United States. Senator Mitch McConnell gave this statement after the hearing:
“Younger farmers in my state are particularly interested in going in this direction. We have a lot of people in my state who are extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities. As we all know, hemp is very diversified.”