Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

McConnell Takes Credit for Hemp Provision in Farm Bill (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:36 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is taking credit for one provision in the five-year farm bill: industrial hemp, having led an effort to insert expanded language in the conference report.

Kentucky has enacted industrial hemp legislation at the state level. A source familiar with the negotiations said the expanded language was drafted in McConnell’s office and inserted at his behest.

The language will allow Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James R. Comer to go ahead with a pilot program allowing cultivation of industrial hemp, which is a type of cannabis that contains far less THC than is found in marijuana. It nonetheless has been similarly treated under federal law.

“By giving Commissioner Comer the go ahead to cultivate hemp for pilot programs, we are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers. By exploring innovative ways to use hemp to benefit a variety of Kentucky industries, while avoiding negative impact to Kentucky law enforcement’s efforts at marijuana interdiction, the pilot programs authorized by this legislation could help boost our state’s economy,” McConnell said in a statement touting the provision.

His office said that McConnell worked with the conferees to make sure the language survived to make its way into the House-Senate conference agreement.

The House farm bill contained a much narrower pilot program that would’ve applied only to certain academic research ventures. It was enough in the view of parliamentary experts to make the expanded pilot program fit within the scope of the conference’s work, however.

Sen. Rand Paul was the first of the Kentucky GOP senators to champion differentiating between marijuana and industrial hemp.

When #WGDB was invited by Paul’s office to meet with Comer to discuss hemp policy during a trip to D.C. back in May, the up-and-coming Kentucky Republican made his pitch with a reference to one of the most legendary senators in history.

“You can make textiles. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper,” Comer said at the time. “It was a leading crop that Henry Clay grew and Abraham Lincoln’s in-laws grew in Kentucky.”

The hemp language in the new farm bill conference agreement comes in rapidly evolving national debate over the broader issue of decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., recently said that legalizing the hemp production could prove a bellwether for the bigger debate, although hemp advocates have said their case is a separate matter.

Comments (25)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Layla

    Jan. 28, 2014
    12:58 p.m.

    It’s nice to see the Leader doing something now that he’s no longer keeping his Constitutional oath.

    Let’s see…..a couple of weeks ago Congress cut military pay. Today they gave a raise to federal employees.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next….amnesty, maybe?

  2. brotherkenny

    Jan. 28, 2014
    7:23 p.m.

    I agree that the hemp and marijuana issues are separate. I am also glad to see that the house language was changed. There is no reason to deny ourselves the economic benefits of industrial hemp. The numbers of products that can be made from hemp is astounding. The seed can be used as food, either as meal or to make oil that is very healthy. The outer fibers of the stalk can be used for textiles, and the inner stalk can be used as paper pulp and one of my favorite products, hempcrete. This is truly amazing that our leaders are finally about to correct a long standing campaign of national stupidity. Hemp is not marijuana. Marijuana was vilified largely as a way to kill industrial hemp so that cotton and wood fiber industries did not have to face free market forces. Good bunch of capitalist right? Just kidding. It was socialist industry protection.

  3. Benjamin Dover

    Feb. 2, 2014
    5:32 p.m.

    Certainly, if one wished to distribute others’ income in an “unfair” manner, say to friends, centralized power would also be needed.

  4. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    3:22 a.m.

    Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thanks. “We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip little by little at a truth we find bitter.” by Denis Diderot.

  5. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    2:10 p.m.

    I am not positive the place you are getting your information, however great topic. I must spend a while learning much more or working out more. Thanks for magnificent information I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  6. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    10:54 a.m.

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  7. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:58 a.m.

    You are a very bright person!

  8. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:45 a.m.

    I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  9. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    7:54 a.m.

    I got what you mean , appreciate it for posting.Woh I am happy to find this website through google. “I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave.” by E. M. Forster.

  10. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:11 a.m.

    I was looking through some of your content on this website and I conceive this web site is very instructive! Retain putting up.

  11. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:14 a.m.

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  12. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:30 a.m.

    I’d must examine with you here. Which isn’t something I usually do! I get pleasure from studying a put up that may make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  13. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    11:56 p.m.

    As soon as I detected this website I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  14. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:04 a.m.

    This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?

  15. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    6:06 a.m.

    I’m impressed, I need to say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the issue is something that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled throughout this in my search for one thing relating to this.

  16. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:43 a.m.

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  17. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:25 a.m.

    Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  18. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:36 p.m.

    Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  19. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:06 p.m.

    You could definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  20. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:26 p.m.

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  21. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    4:31 a.m.

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100 certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  22. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    12:29 p.m.

    Very interesting details you have remarked, appreciate it for posting . “In a great romance, each person plays a part the other really likes.” by Elizabeth Ashley.

  23. Google

    July 30, 2015
    1:23 p.m.

    Here is a good Weblog You may Locate Interesting that we encourage you to visit.

  24. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    3:52 p.m.

    Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic details , I too believe this s a very fantastic website.

  25. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    8:59 p.m.

    Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...