Thursday, June 14, 2018

McConnell gets hemp in Farm Bill, after argument with Iowa senator about inclusion of cannabinoids, including CBD oil

McConnell at the meeting (Associated Press photo by Jacquelyn Martin)
The Senate version of the Farm Bill contains Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's legalization of industrial hemp, but not without a dissent from another powerful senator who says it goes too far on a health-care issue.

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill 20-1, and McConnell vowed to bring it to the Senate floor before July 4. The lone "no" vote came from Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley of Iowa.

"Grassley’s objections to the farm bill appeared to be largely based on its language around industrial hemp," reports Marianne Goodland of Colorado Politics. Grassley "said he believed any language around industrial hemp ought not be included in the Farm Bill, but rather belongs in another bill that would go through his committee."

At issue is McConnell's language defining hemp, which includes cannabinoids, including CBD oil, which is used for a variety of medical conditions, especially in epileptic children. "However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved those uses," Goodland notes. "Grassley argued that CBD oil is not an industrial hemp product."

The bill would let “any snake oil salesman” sell CBD without safety assurances, putting children at risk, Grassley argued. McConnell "said the bill incorporated suggestions made by the Judiciary Committee, the FDA and the Justice Department, including that the agriculture secretary could consult with the attorney general on state plans for hemp production. The bill, McConnell added, does not make hemp a legal commodity, and it also improves the integrity of the hemp program, to ensure that states and Indian tribes conduct proper oversight over their own hemp programs."

McConnell, making a rare appearance as a member of the committee, "said hemp could fill the market niche left when farmers in his state stopped growing tobacco," AgWeek reports, quoting him: “Younger farmers in my state are particularly interested in going in this direction, so I think it’s time for America.”

No comments:

Post a Comment