May 18, 2018
You may have heard that this morning, the House Farm Bill was voted down, due to an intra-party dispute over immigration reform. While this development was unexpected, please do NOT view this as a setback for passage of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. First, as we informed you yesterday, the House Farm Bill did not include any language on hemp – so this clearly cannot be seen as a rejection of our efforts. Second, and most importantly, the Senate Farm Bill is very much alive, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to amend it before final passage with S.2667, his Hemp Farming Act language.
The dynamics in the Senate are much more positive, and a bipartisan Farm Bill is expected to pass through the upper chamber. With Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s support, we feel very confident that our hemp provisions will survive. The Senate Farm Bill would then go to the House. Since the 2014 Farm Bill expires on September 30, and since there are so many critical programs that would end if it is not renewed – crop insurance, food stamps, etc. – we feel that the House will come together and not let extraneous issues torpedo it.
That being said, it is still critically important to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, to empower McConnell and Schumer in the Senate, and our friends in the House, led by Reps. James Comer and Jared Polis, to ensure a final passage of the 2018 Farm Bill with our hemp language.