Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. is a politician serving Kentucky’s senior US senator as a Senate Major Leader, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed he’s a huge supporter of the hemp industry.
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An “Already Terrific Business”
Calling the hemp industry “already a terrific business,” McConnell said that the government is in the final stages of “getting us where we need to be” in terms of regulations, and he told reporters earlier this month that he is ready to start “quickly cleaning up any glitches with the US hemp industry.” This is exciting to hear from a major US politician for hemp testing laboratory, like ours.
Hemp and legalization is an issue that one would usually associate with the democratic party, but after realizing the massive number of benefits and the amount of profit it can produce, especially in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell has been one of the most active politicians in the hemp regulation system. A big part of this activism comes from the fact that fewer people are smoking each year, so due to the falling sales and demand, these markets have stopped being profitable. On the other hand, hemp is “four times more profitable than corn or soybeans” and has immense growth potential according to CNBC. The success can also be seen across our client’s business, clients who test hemp and CBD on a regular basis.
Pushing Hemp Into the Mainstream
McConnell has already successfully passed a resolution commemorating Hemp History Week a couple of months ago, pushed for hemp crop insurance provision in disaster aid legislation and legalized the plant through last year’s Farm Bill -using a hemp pen to sign it. On top of that, he personally led the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a visit to the Commonwealth Extracts facility in Louisville, KY, where the officials got a chance to see hemp-derived CBD products up close.
One of the issues McConnell points out when talking about this industry is the ongoing lack of financial services access like bank account and credit. Hemp is constantly conflated with its illegal cousin marijuana, which McConnell says is the reason why “big banks, related to credit card, need to be convicted, and we hope to explain to them [that] the law is pretty clear. This is a legal product.” McConnell mentioned as well how local law enforcement has been seizing hemp crops due to the belief that they were marijuana, and how they have some “education for public servants across the country who think they’re doing their job”.
The secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, gave McConnell credit for having “created a lot of interest all across the country in this product and in this crop” adding that they are hopeful it will be the real bonanza in so many products.
Getting Some Recognition from the USDA and FDA
Partly thanks to McConnell’s efforts, the USDA has begun accepting applications for hemp intellectual property protections and clarified that farmers can import hemp seeds from other countries, as well as planning for national rules to come online in time for the 2020 plating season and they recently announced it intends to issue a final interim rule on the Farm Bill’s hemp provision in the next few months. As the largest hemp testing facility in the Southeastern United States, we are excited to see new changes to the culture of CBD and hemp.
In the meantime, McConnell is pressing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rapidly constitute regulations that allow the use of hemp-derived CBD in dietary supplements and food products, as well as making his successful fight to legalize the crop one of the main pieces of his 2020 reelection campaign.