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McConnell hemp amendment approved by Senate committee

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Ensures industrial hemp pilot programs can continue without federal disruption

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 11, 2015) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced today that an amendment he introduced with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) regarding legal industrial hemp cultivation pilot projects was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now included in the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill.

The hemp amendment, which continues McConnell’s efforts from last year, provides that no funds can be used by federal agencies in violation of McConnell’s provision in the 2014 Farm Bill, which gave state agricultural commissioners and universities the go ahead to cultivate hemp for pilot programs.

“I appreciate my colleagues recognizing the importance of this issue to Kentuckians participating in the industrial hemp pilot programs. This measure will help ensure that industrial hemp pilot programs in Kentucky can continue without federal disruption,” McConnell said. “These legal pilot programs authorized by my legislation could help boost our state’s economy and lead to future jobs.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) secured an identical version in the CJS bill passed by the House of Representatives on June 3, 2015. The full Senate still needs to pass its version.