Senate Majority Leader and self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper,” Mitch McConnell (R-KY), celebrated the one year anniversary of the Farm Bill, which federally legalized the production and sale of hemp, by showing off the hemp pen he used to sign the bill. The moment took place on a video sent out on the Senator’s Twitter page.
I'm glad to see the results of last year’s Farm Bill. In Kentucky alone, growers on more than 75,000 farms now have the predictability to better secure their future. I'll continue working to support growers and hemp producers as they feed our country and the world. pic.twitter.com/3hMGRpy8Mt— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 20, 2019
Since the bill was signed into law, “producers in Kentucky and around the country are enjoying the support,” said Senator McConnell. “Everyone of us depends on America's farmers. By protecting crop insurance and commodity safety nets, we took action to help them overcome serious challenges.”
McConnell added that he is “particularly pleased to see the progress of hemp, which was legalized by my initiative last year.”
“I was proud to sign the Farm Bill conference report with my hemp pen,” he said. “Now farmers, processors and manufacturers in 101 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are exploring the potential for this exciting crop.”
The Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky has been following up and following through when it comes to the matters of the hemp legalization and production. In November, he met with the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner nominee to discuss the necessity for a regulatory framework for the CBD industry.
“I look forward to working closely with Dr. Hahn on several important issues for Kentucky,” said Senator McConnell in a press release. “As Senate Majority Leader, I consistently work with my colleagues in the Trump administration to advance Kentucky’s priorities. Like many Kentuckians who are taking advantage of hemp’s legalization, I am eager for FDA’s plans to create certainty for CBD products. Dr. Hahn and I also discussed my legislation to help keep dangerous nicotine products—including vaping devices—out of our children’s hands.”
As @senatemajldr, Senator Mitch McConnell advocates for #Kentucky priorities with the Trump Administration and discussed his Tobacco 21 legislation, #hemp, and CBD with President @realDonaldTrump’s nominee for @US_FDA Commissioner: https://t.co/GZhkVgPeFV pic.twitter.com/a0gBs9z42u— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) November 20, 2019
When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released proposed regulations regarding hemp after pressure from the Senator to do so, he said, “This new policy will help farmers around the country continue pioneering this crop into the 21st century.”
Earlier this month, President Trump signed into law a series of marijuana, hemp and CBD provisions agreed upon by both the House and Senate that were attached to spending bills. Among them are $2 million in funding for research into hemp.
“Hemp producers across the country are looking to Kentucky for our expertise and leadership with this exciting crop, and I’m committed to helping our farmers, processors and manufacturers take full advantage of hemp’s potential,” Senator Mitch McConnell said in another press release. “These federal resources will help us continue our progress to ensuring hemp is treated just like every other legal commodity.”
“Division B, section 531 of the Act provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds made available under this Act to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories,” said Trump wrote via signing statement. “My Administration will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”
When it comes to hemp’s equally versatile sibling though, McConnell isn’t as welcoming. In November, he accepted an honorary machete used to cut down thousands of marijuana plants at the opening ceremony of a Volunteers of American center in Kentucky.
A tweet from @McConnellPress reads: “In recognition of many years of ardent & steadfast commitment to a drug-free Commonwealth this machete is hereby presented to The Honorable Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader. The affixed machete was used on the eradication of thousands of clandestine marijuana plants”
“In recognition of many years of ardent & steadfast commitment to a drug-free Commonwealth this machete is hereby presented to The Honorable Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader. The affixed machete was used on the eradication of thousands of clandestine marijuana plants” https://t.co/YAWQ9xRuep pic.twitter.com/A3fowl87xh— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) November 26, 2019