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New farm bill could herald hemp resurgence in Southern Tier, Schumer says

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have plenty of disagreements, with one notable exception: industrial hemp.

Both agreed it was time to decriminalize industrial hemp. The two vigorously pushed through a new Farm Bill, recently signed by President Donald Trump, that removes industrial hemp from list of controlled substances.

Why? Both Kentucky and New York have been at the forefront of developing the industrial hemp crop, with the expectation of the eventual easing of prohibitions. And officials in both states believe the hemp industry can flourish and return economic vibrancy to regions that have been largely bypassed in the nationwide recovery that started in 2009.

Now, the crop can be grown, harvested and processed without fear of serious reprisals by authorities. Though industrial hemp is still regulated under the bill, the legislation clears the major roadblocks previously hampering widespread growing and production. And, with the endorsement of federal legislation, big business is ready to make major investments in the hemp industry, with promises of new products ranging from nutrition to medicinal.

The Ithaca Journal:
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