Opinion: Hemp legalization will be a free-market win - The Cannifornian

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018

Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators don’t always pull the GOP in the same direction. But Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are joining forces on a modest but important effort — getting the federal government out of hemp regulation. Now is a good time to pass a bill moving laws around hemp cultivation down to the state level.

Lawrence Serbin, president of Hemp Traders, holds dried hemp at his ware house in Paramount, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. (Photo by Nick Agro, Orange County Register/SCNG)

If you’re of a certain age, you may have spent time in middle school or high school listening to classmates invoke George Washington in their case for legalizing hemp. To be sure, the agricultural product, which bears a close similarity to marijuana, has been a part of American farming since the beginning — especially in early states like Kentucky.

“Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky’s agricultural heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future,” as McConnell recently put it. “I believe that we are ready to take the next step and build upon the successes we’ve seen with Kentucky’s hemp pilot program,” he claimed, referencing a 2014 law that permitted state-level test-drives of crop cultivation.