Kentucky Rep. James Comer has introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 which, if approved, would remove hemp from the federal definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. The measure would allow more comprehensive hemp research at institutes of higher education and allow for further commercialization of industrial hemp crops.
“I am honored to sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act because I know firsthand the economic viability of industrial hemp,” Comer, the former Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, said in a press release. “Hemp has created new opportunities for family farmers and good paying jobs for American workers, especially in Kentucky.”
According to the bill text, the act does not “alter the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” pertaining to adulterated or misbranded drugs or foods. Retailers or end-users of processed hemp products would be required to comply with reporting requirements of the CSA.
Other sponsors of the measure include Comer’s fellow Republicans, Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, along with Colorado Democrat Jared Polis.
“Hemp has boundless potential as a sustainable alternative to plastics and other environmentally harmful products,” Polis said in a statement. “It can be used in everything from construction materials to paper to lotions and even ice cream. It’s past time that we eliminate absurd barriers and allow hemp farmers to get to work, create jobs, and grow this promising and historically important crop!”
The proposal has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary committees.