Mitch McConnell pushes for hemp legalization | 3/26/2018 | Staff (Posted by) Level 3
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — The U.S. Senate's top leader said Monday he wants to bring agricultural hemp production back into the national mainstream by removing it from the list of controlled substances.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a group of hemp advocates in his home state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.

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"I believe hemp has a bright future in our state," McConnell said. "It's now time to take the final step and make this a legal crop for every state that wants to file a plan with the U.S. department of agriculture."

Kentucky has been at the forefront of hemp's comeback. McConnell said he's hopeful hemp can do for the state's economy what the tobacco once did. Kentucky agriculture officials recently approved about 12,000 acres to be grown in the state this year, and 57 Kentucky processors are turning the raw product into a multitude of products.

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