The U.S. Senate, without objection from any lawmaker of either party, adopted legislation on Tuesday recognizing "the growing economic potential of industrial hemp" as well as its "historical relevance."
The resolution, which was passed to commemorate "Hemp History Week," also decries the fact that " the United States is the largest consumer of hemp products in the world, but the United States is the only major industrialized country that restricts hemp farming."
"Despite the legitimate uses of hemp, many agricultural producers of the United States are prohibited under current law from growing hemp," the measure reads. "Because most hemp cannot be grown legally in the United States, raw hemp material and hemp products are imported for sale in the United States."
While this is the third year in a row that the Senate has adopted a nonbinding resolution recognizing the value of hemp without actually legalizing it, indications this year point to the strong possibility that Congress will finally take action to change the crop's status under federal law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for example, recently introduced a bill to legalize hemp, which already has nearly a third of senators signed on as cosponsors.
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