As the election results were revealed through late yesterday evening, there were moments of excitement and disappointment for both parties.
But for hemp, victory was complete and absolute:
- Hemp’s greatest champion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, held onto, and expanded his majority, strengthening his hand in the coming Congress. McConnell took the extraordinary step of placing himself on the 2018 Farm Bill conference committee for one primary reason – to ensure that his Hemp Farming Act provisions are retained in the final version. Now with even more influence in Washington, McConnell is in prime position to secure the full and permanent legalization of hemp and hemp products.
- The Democratic takeover of the House is a boost to final passage of a hemp-laden Farm Bill. While GOP stalwarts like Rep. Jamie Comer, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and most recently Speaker Paul Ryan have emerged as major hemp champions, there was a small group of resisters in their caucus. That’s why when the House passed its version of the Farm Bill by a razor thin vote, the decision was made not to provoke controversy by adding the hemp provision. We are still very hopeful that Congress will pass the 2018 Farm Bill in the upcoming lame duck session which begins next week. But in case it bleeds over into the new year, we can be fully confident that House Democrats, including likely Speaker Nancy Pelosi and hemp point person Rep. Earl Blumenauer will be able to rally the entire Democratic caucus to support the Hemp Farming Act as part of the 2019 Farm Bill.
- One of hemp’s greatest and most longtime champions, Rep. Jared Polis, was elected Governor of Colorado. Big Mazel Tov to Governor Polis! Also, Colorado passed Amendment X, which gives the state much more flexibility to raise the THC level from 0.3% if the federal government chooses to do so down the road as well.
P.S. You may have 99 Problems with some of the politicians mentioned above. But hemp ain’t one.