December 11, 2018

Wyden Statement on Hemp Legalization

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced his legislation to legalize industrial hemp is included in the final Farm Bill legislation released last night. The Farm Bill now must be voted on by both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Wyden worked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to ensure their bipartisan Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was included in the final Farm Bill. The Hemp Farming Act clearly defines hemp as an agricultural commodity and removes it from the list of controlled substances. It also gives states the opportunity to become the primary regulators of hemp production, allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and makes hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance. Wyden, McConnell, and Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced the bill earlier this year.

“For too long, the outrageous and outdated ban on growing hemp has hamstrung farmers in Oregon and across the country,” Wyden said. “Hemp products are made in America, sold in America, and consumed in America. Now, hemp will be able to be legally grown in America, to the economic benefit of consumers and farmers in Oregon and nationwide.”

In 2012, Wyden was the first senator to introduce legislation to legalize the production of industrial hemp. In 2014, Wyden helped legalize hemp pilot programs and in 2016, secured clarification for farmers after three federal agencies issued new guidance that conflicted with current laws governing the growing and selling of industrial hemp.

The Hemp Farming Act is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, Vote Hemp, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NSCL).