The titans of the budding hemp industry just got another supporter, and a powerful one at that: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It turns out some long talks with his libertarian-minded colleague Rand Paul have led to McConnell’s coming out in favor of industrialized hemp.
In a statement issued Friday, McConnell said, “I am convinced that allowing [hemp] production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy.” He also said he’s been assured by Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer that legalizing hemp production wouldn't promote illegal drug use.
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“The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times, that sounds like a good thing to me,” McConnell said.
If industrial hemp were to be legalized in Kentucky, it could be a cash crop. Kentucky's Legislature is preparing to tackle the issue (law enforcement isn't a fan of legalizing industrial hemp production). Paul has also sponsored a bill that would lift the federal ban on growing hemp.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.