As Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushes for federal hemp crop insurance, cannabis-related products like CBD creams for pain are becoming more commonplace across the nation. If passed, McConnel’s Disaster Bill Amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill would potentially benefit, farmers, consumers, and the general American economy.

What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill, introduced in 2018, legalized the farming of hemp and all its derivatives. As the bill was passed, McConnell vowed that he would create further bills and amendments to iron out any difficulties or glitches brought forth by the original bill.

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McConnell’s Disaster Bill Amendment

As farmers began to voice concerns about their access to federal crop benefits and protections, McConnell jumped into motion drafting the Disaster Bill Amendment.

The Disaster Bill Amendment is focused on providing funding for relief efforts to areas across the states that have been ravaged by natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires. A small section of the bill, however, also includes a provision for hemp farmers, which is what McConnell is most passionate about.

With the help of the Disaster Bill, McConnell aims to assist hemp farmers across the United States access and qualify for federal crop benefits ahead of the 2020 planting season. This Disaster Bill is evidence to his promise of acting on behalf of hemp farmers nationwide in addition to jumpstarting the hemp economy in the U.S.

The Amendment was passed in the Senate with an 85 to 8 vote but is currently still under discussion in the House of Representatives.

4 Reasons Why McConnell is pushing for Hemp crop insurance

1. Hemp ≠ Marijuana

Although both Hemp and Marijuana are only different names for the cannabis plant, they could not be used more differently. Depending on how the specific cannabinoid bonds to the body (think THC vs. CBD), the effect with either result in a mental high or positively impact health.

The “illicit” drug marijuana is used to achieve a high when the THC directly bonds with certain biological cannabinoid receptors that cause a state of mind varied from the standard. Hemp, on the other hand, is generally grown to harvest the valuable cannabinoid structures in the plants. In definitive legal terms and guidelines, hemp only has a THC content of 0.3% or less - this cannot render a high.

2. Americans spent $820 million on hemp products last year

Cannabinoid products present a huge gap in our national economy. Of the $820 million spent in 2017, most of the hemp was produced overseas and contributed nothing to our economy.

Allowing the legal and widespread farming of hemp within the United States will bring and keep this cash flow within our borders. Creating tons of funds and boosting our economy.

3. The undeniable health benefits

The undeniable health benefits

Hemp oil products that feature cannabidiol (CBD) content are becoming the alternative treatment option more, Americans are turning to.

Under the hemp umbrella, products range from CBD creams for pain management to an oral dose of CBD oils for anxiety or epilepsy treatment.

Americans are becoming wary of modern technology and medical advancements. Home-grown cannabis-based products could be a great solution that makes both the public and our economy healthier.

4. Fighting for his home state

Kentucky is the second largest producer of hemp, only falling second to Colorado.

During one of McConnell’s speeches to the Senate floor, he noted that 99 of 120 counties across his home state have begun to explore hemp production. With the support of the federal government and crop insurance for natural disasters, more counties may get involved in the hemp industry.

What to expect in our green future

McConnell’s support is one of the first major publicized fights our government has had on a federal level to fight the stigma surrounding cannabis products in the U.S. While it may not directly impact many of us for the time being, it is a huge step toward our green future.

With hemp crops protected by law, we can expect easier wide-spread access to products like hemp oil for pain and may even be able to buy CBD oil online nationwide without worries of legal ramifications.