Senators introduce bill to remove restrictions on hemp cultivation

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013 - A group of bipartisan senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced legislation that would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp.

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Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined McConnell in introducing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (S. 359), which would remove hemp from the Schedule I controlled substance list under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and would define it as a non-drug so long as it contained less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“Unfortunately, there are some dumb regulations that are hurting economic growth and job creation, and the ban on growing industrial hemp is certainly among them,” Wyden said. “The opportunities for American farmers and businesses are obvious here. It's time to boost revenues for farmers and reduce the costs for the businesses around the country that use hemp.”

Last June, Wyden attempted to amend the farm bill to allow farmers to grow with industrial hemp. Two months later, Wyden introduced similar legislation along Merkley, Paul and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

The legislation is a companion bill to H.R. 525, which was introduced recently in the House with 28 original co-sponsors. Both bills can be accessed at


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