U.S. Sens. McConnell and Paul file bill to legalize hemp as Ky. Senate passes hemp bill

02/14/2013 05:17 PM

Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senators on Thursday introduced a measure to legalize the growing of hemp just as the Kentucky state Senate approved a measure setting up a regulatory scheme for the industry.

U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Paul introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 along with Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

“Today’s state Senate victory, coupled with the efforts Sen. McConnell and I are making here in Washington increase my confidence that they will soon payoff, to the benefit of Kentuckians,” U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said in a statement.

A separate measure filed in the House was sponsored by Republican Congressman Thomas Massie and is supported by Democratic John Yarmuth of Louisville.

The Senate bill would remove hemp from the federal list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. And it would stay off that list as long as the plants contain less than 0.3 percent of THC — the chemical with psychoactive properties found in marijuana, another form of cannabis.

The United States remains the only industrialized nation that doesn’t allow farming of industrial hemp. Proponents say the plant could be used to make textiles, fuel and plastics.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.

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