The cannabis universities and colleges across the country could soon start growing isn’t the kind that tie-dye clad, 4/20-observing coeds might have hoped for. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is pretty high on it.
The five-term Kentucky senator today is celebrating the inclusion, in the farm bill conference report, of language he promoted that would allow colleges, universities and state departments of agriculture to grow test plots of hemp for industrial uses. It’s a move that proponents are calling a first step toward large-scale cultivation of the crop.
Kentucky is on the top of the list of states to benefit from the change.
“This is an important victory for Kentucky’s farmers, and I was pleased to be able to secure this language on behalf of our state,” McConnell said in a statement issued Tuesday. By giving states “the go-ahead to cultivate hemp for pilot programs, we are laying the groundwork for a new commodity market for Kentucky farmers. By exploring innovative ways to use hemp to benefit a variety of Kentucky industries, while avoiding negative impact to Kentucky law enforcement’s efforts at marijuana interdiction, the pilot programs authorized by this legislation could help boost our state’s economy.”