McConnell: Willing to offer hemp bill to resolve’glitches’

As hemp enters a new era as a lawful agricultural product, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he is willing to provide follow-up legislation to solve some”glitches” coming from mistaken identity between the harvest and its lookalike, illicit cousin.

Including protecting hemp imports stopped by authorities who can’t tell if they intercepted a legal crop or bud.

“Some glitches remain to be worked out, and some of it might require laws,” McConnell told reporters after a hemp forum in Louisville, his hometown.

Using a football analogy, the Republican Senate leader stated hemp supporters have attained the”red zone” in restoring the historic harvest to mainstream agriculture. He added:”I’m ready to perform my work… all the way to the end zone if it needs additional legislation.”

Because the legalization of hemp, a few truckers arrested and with shipments have been stopped. The only means to distinguish hemp is by measuring their tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and officers don’t possess the testing technology to do on the area. Marijuana, prohibited under national law, has sufficient THC to get users high. Hemp has nearly none — 0.3 percent or less beneath U.S. government standards.

Kentucky and Oregon are big hemp producers, and a lot of what they develop is processed in Colorado. In which some arrests have occurred companies that transport hemp drive through Idaho and Oklahoma.

Last year mcConnell, that led the push in Congress to legalize hemp, stated that regulations may be enough to help a few elements of the hemp industry.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach, that attended the hemp conference, said USDA has requested national drug enforcement officials to get a”coordinated campaign” on global hemp shipment.

“That may be an area where USDA can work with other national agencies to not just help them understand hemp, (but) search for analyzing protocols that might be able to be employed on the path to have the ability to distinguish between hemp and other goods that aren’t authorized,” he said.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said making sure unimpeded hemp shipment demands communicating with officials in other nations”about exactly what hemp is and also what hemp is not.”

Concerns have included making sure that the industry receives.

McConnell recently collaborated with Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, in seeking to alleviate concerns regarding credit availability as well as other financial services for both hemp farmers and businesses. They advocated federal financial regulatory agencies to allow it to be clear that hemp is authorized and to issue”advice” to institutions under their jurisdictions to ease worries.

McConnell orchestrated attempts that were successful to attach legalization language to the new farm bill. The supply eliminated hemp in the list of materials and treats the cannabis plant’s low-THC version just like any other agricultural crop.

Now, the USDA is currently crafting principles to get a hemp program. The Kentucky forum was a part of the attempt to collect input. The goal is to get the program in place for the 2020 crop season, Ibach said. The work involves developing a crop insurance program for hemp growers.

“My objective is to get this product out as fast as we can, but nevertheless it’s got to be appropriate,” USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre informed reporters.

Rooted in Kentucky’s past, hemp was used for rope however, has many different applications, such as garments and mulch from the fiber; hemp milk and cooking oil from the seeds; along with lotions and soap. Other uses include construction materials, animal bedding and biofuels. Many as a medical support tout hemp-derived CBDs.

Quarles said he hopes Kentucky hemp someday becomes as recognizable as Kentucky bourbon and horses while the commercialization of hemp is still in its infancy.

Processors paid Kentucky farmers $17.75 million to harvested hemp materials in 2018up from $7.5 million annually earlier.

Hemp wills grow in Kentucky and the substance is being processed by more than 120 companies from the country, Quarles said.