U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met leaders from Kentucky’s hemp industry and the state’s Department of Agriculture Commissioner on Monday for a dialogue about the future of industrial hemp.

Following the meeting, Leader McConnell announced strong support for removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, a benchmark moment for the growing hemp economy and a hopeful bellwether of future national legislation.

“I will be introducing, when I go back to the Senate a week from Monday, a bipartisan bill in the Senate…the Hemp Farming Act of 2018,” Leader McConnell said at the press conference. “I believe we’re ready to take the next step, and build upon the success we’ve seen with Kentucky’s Hemp Pilot Program,”

Leader McConnell continued his clear and compelling support saying, “This bill (Hemp Farming Act of 2018) will finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of Controlled Substances.”

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The new status for hemp would help local tobacco farmers transition to the agriculture crop of the future, saying, “We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become, sometime in the future, what burley tobacco was in Kentucky’s past.”

There is already a production facility run by GenCanna on the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky, which is a re-purposed former tobacco research facility.

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As a champion of the hemp industry, McConnell recently successfully passed the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill which included language that specifically approves the interstate and international transportation of hemp and hemp-derived products.

“Four years after GenCanna was Kentucky’s first CBD specific Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program participant, (and) we are ecstatic,” said GenCanna President Steve Bevan, “As a company, GenCanna is extremely proud of our local job creation and $40M in economic impact over the last 4 years.”

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