The United States is the world’s biggest consumer of hemp products.
The unanimous Senate resolution recognizing hemp also questions the fact that the US is the world’s biggest consumer of hemp products yet remains the only industrialized nation that still restricts hemp farming.
“Despite the legitimate uses of hemp, many agricultural producers of the United States are prohibited under current law from growing hemp,” the measure reads, per Forbes. “Because most hemp cannot be grown legally in the United States, raw hemp material and hemp products are imported for sale in the United States.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently introduced a bill to legalize hemp in his Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which now has nearly a third of senators signed on as cosponsors.
Although House Republicans blocked an effort to add hemp legalization to food and agriculture legislation recently, if the hemp provision is inserted into the Senate bill, it could end up reaching Trump’s desk for a signature.
McConnell has stated on many occasions that he is dislikes hemp’s illegal cousin, cannabis, and believes they have nothing to do with one another.
But the Senate Majority leader is so enamored of hemp that he declared June 4-10 as “Hemp History Week.” And the senate is so enamored of McConnell that they immediately obliged and adopted the resolution.
“Industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity that has been used for centuries to produce many innovative industrial and consumer products, including soap, fabric, textiles, construction materials, clothing, paper, cosmetics, food, and beverages,” according to the resolution. “Industrial hemp holds great potential to bolster the agricultural economy of the United States.”
The measure points out that “the value of hemp imported into the United States for use in the production of other retail products is estimated at approximately $76,000,000 annually.”
It also cites projections that the annual market value of retail hemp sales in the U.S. is worth more than $688 million.
“We applaud Leader McConnell and Senator Wyden for acknowledging the fast growing hemp industry during Hemp History Week,” said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, according to Forbes. “Their resolution highlights the need to pass the Hemp Farming Act and remove barriers facing farmers and businesses.”
Source: The Weed Blog