Everyone's Talking About How Well Marijuana Did In The Election, But Hemp Was A Winner, Too
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As the votes continue to trickle in for the national election, one outcome is crystal clear: It was a big night for hemp.
No matter what your political leanings, if you're a hemp supporter, there is plenty to be happy about:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who led the fight for hemp’s legalization in the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, won reelection by a more than 20 point margin in Kentucky. Whether it is McConnell who secures the Majority Leader or not, hemp will be secure under the leadership of Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who has led efforts to pressure the USDA and FDA into support for the hemp and CBD industries, won reelection by a nearly 20 point margin as well.
Cannabis champion Senator Corey Gardner (R-CO) lost by a wide margin. Still, his victorious opponent, John Hickenlooper (D-CO), oversaw one of the first successful state hemp programs in Colorado and should be an industry ally.
Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), notably lead sponsors of HR 8179 in favor of the sale of hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement cruised in their reelection bids.
Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), authors of the strong letter sent to the DEA urging that agency to withdraw its troublesome interim final rule on hemp, won re-election victories
Not all good news
Although most of the news about hemp was positive, the industry did receive one setback. Longtime hemp supporter, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) lost his battle for re-election. Rep. Peterson worked tirelessly on the 2018 Farm Bill, introducing legislation to protect hemp-derived CBD.
Still, there is ample reason for hemp enthusiasts to be pleased with the future path for hemp.
"Nearly all of our leading supporters on Capitol Hill won re-election, and we are even more confident that the bi-partisan support Congress has shown for hemp farmers and small businesses will continue to grow," says Jonathan Miller, general counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of dozens of leading companies and organizations committed to safe hemp and CBD products.
"We are most bullish about the passage of HR 8179 which would establish a regulatory pathway for the sale of hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement."