One of the most important federal cannabis bills to ever pass through Congress is now on Trump’s desk. The 2018 Farm Bill, an $867 billion overhaul of farming oversight passed the House of Representatives with whopping bipartisan support, 386-47.
The bill does a whole lot of things, but of most urgent concern here: it legalizes hemp. Well, it didn’t legalize it yet. It’s now on President Trump’s desk. The Washington Post says that he’s expected to sign the bill, but you never know with that guy. He wasn’t even expected to be president.
The dude’s got a rocky history with cannabis. He said he’d be open to legalizing it on the campaign trail, then he appointed a fanatical anti-cannabis senator to be in charge of the entire Justice Department, and then he fired him.
Trump says he’s never smoked weed or used any drugs and we believe him. He literally doesn’t know how to spell the word “smoking.”
But, with this kind of widespread support, Trump probably will sign the bill. And that means a new era for cannabis in the United States.
Legalized hemp production is a big deal for many farmers and business people. CNBC said that a legal hemp market could turn into a $20 billion industry by 2022.
The bill was introduced and heavily pushed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
McConnell says the hemp issue is important to Kentucky farmers who have seen their tobacco trade dwindling in recent years since demand has gone down.
“At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling, industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture’s future,” McConnell tweeted on Wednesday. He also said that he believes hemp “can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky’s past.”
In addition to all that hemp action, the Farm Bill will also do a whole bunch of other stuff including give subsidies to farmers, funding to minority and veteran farmers, to farmers markets and nonprofit farmers organizations.
Photo via Flickr user Maja Dumat