Updated: Jan 16, 2019
On Wednesday, June 28th, industry leaders and stakeholders from around the U.S. joined a conference call with Kentucky Congressman James Comer (R-KY) to discuss the progress of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017. The call was facilitated by Jonathan Miller, who has organized the U.S. Hemp Roundtable to actively pursue and promote legislation that protects and advances the domestic hemp industry.
Comer is a freshman in Congress and is hoping to make his mark with hemp, the same way he did as Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner (2012-2016). Comer advocated and fought for state legislation (Senate Bill 50) as Ag Commissioner, and later launched the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program after the passing of the Farm Bill. As Congressman, he hopes to bring the momentum we have growing as a state to the federal level.
The first bill (as mentioned in previous posts) Congressman Comer plans to introduce is the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017. He has made this his priority and is working collaboratively with a bipartisan group of Congressmen and Senators to craft a revised version of the 2015 bill with the ultimate goal of removing industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances. It will also keep the DEA from interfering with hemp growing and production in states with hemp legislation, and ensure that farmers and manufacturers can apply and benefit from federal programs and insurance.
Comer also touched on the possibility of raising the THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) limit up to 0.6.% rather than 0.3% which would create some flexibility in genetics and testing, while still remaining well under a psychoactive amount. He also addressed how the bill would clarify banking issues and provide financial security for those in the business.
The call ended on a very positive, encouraging note with Congressman Comer suggesting the bill could be introduced as early as mid-July. We look forward to announcing its introduction and will share updates as we receive them! Click here for updates about state and federal legislation.