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Senator Takes Hemp Legalization Victory Lap With Basket Full Of Hemp Products



Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) commemorated Hemp History Week on Thursday with what has become an ongoing annual tradition of celebrating the crop’s usage while displaying a basket full of hemp-derived products.

The senator said he could think of “no better way to celebrate than by recognizing our big win last December,” when Congress passed agriculture legislation that included a provision federally legalizing hemp.

“I’ve always believed it’s just absolutely absurd that you could go to your local supermarket and see all kinds of hemp products on the shelves—hemp hearts, hemp granola, hemp ties—and yet because of outdated, harmful federal polices, the hemp for those products couldn’t be grown here in the United States,” he said.

“That’s why I first introduced my bill in 2012, and it was the first of its kind to bring the outdated hemp policies into the 21st century,” he said. “If you can make and sell it in America, you also ought to be able to grow it in America.”

Beside the senator sat a basket filled with an assortment of hemp products, including milk, protein powder and seeds made from the crop.


Wyden started his tradition of bringing the basket to the Senate floor to advocate for hemp reform in 2015. But this year, hemp history week fell on a short week of the legislative session, and so he made his case in a video taped in his office instead, a staffer told Marijuana Moment.

Last year, the senator brought two baskets of hemp products to the floor, decrying the Schedule I status of the crop under federal law that has since been lifted.

Like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who also championed the hemp provision, Wyden said that their work “is far from over.” Both senators led a Senate resolution that was adopted on Wednesday, touting the “economic potential” of the crop.

McConnell also marked the occasion by using his hemp pen to note Hemp History Week on his calendar.

“I’m going to keep pushing until the Trump administration fully implements the law and updates the regulations associated with it,” Wyden said. “But there’s good news: farmers in Oregon and nationwide are finally well on their way to pursuing the very, very large economic opportunities this industry has to offer.”

Much of the work that is yet to be done falls within the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The departments are actively developing regulatory guidelines so that farmers and businesses are able to lawfully market the plant and its derivatives.

Lawmakers have also implored federal financial regulators to clarify to banks that hemp is federally legal and that hemp businesses can access credit and qualify for crop insurance, for example.

McConnell Marks Hemp History Week On His Calendar With A Hemp Pen

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Sen. Wyden.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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