McConnell’s year-end wish: Getting Congress to legalize hemp

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Pressed for time and with a crowded agenda, the Senate’s top leader has his own priority in Congress’ lame-duck session: passing a farm bill that includes a full pardon for hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has guaranteed his proposal to make hemp a legal agricultural commodity will be part of the final farm bill. He places it on a par with federal spending bills as action Congress must take before the end of the year.

Keeping that promise would cap a decades-long journey to overcome the stigma associated with the crop, which McConnell himself did not initially embrace wholeheartedly. But in recent years, the quintessential establishment Republican has been all in for the hemp revolution.

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