Senator McConnell's Accomplishments - Industrial Hemp

Mitch McConnell secured a long-awaited federal victory for industrial hemp production in Kentucky when he secured language in the final version of the Farm Bill that would allow state departments of agriculture to cultivate industrial hemp in agricultural pilot programs in states that already permit the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp.

Steps taken by Senator McConnell:

Following Senate and House passage of their respective Farm Bills, Senator McConnell, through his role as Senate Republican Leader, appointed Senate Republicans to the 2014 Farm Bill conference, the group charged with finalizing the Farm Bill. Senator McConnell worked with the conferees to include his language in the final bill which gives Commissioner Comer the permission needed to move forward with pilot programs and university studies for industrial hemp cultivation. Additionally, Senator McConnell worked with House Speaker John Boehner to protect the language from opposition in conference. Senator McConnell crafted this language in order to give the Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer the flexibility to cultivate hemp for pilot programs in Kentucky.

The Senator also played a major role in helping procure supplies of hemp seed for the inagural year of the pilot programs and studies.

Now, only months later, fields of hemp crops are flourishing at the University of Kentucky and Murray State University. Senator McConnell is excited to see the results of these programs that will determine future opportunities for this reintroduced commodity in the Commonwealth.

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