Report: Felons already growing hemp can continue under Farm Bill compromise

While a reported compromise on the 2018 Farm Bill has not been officially released, details are starting to leak about felon participation in the industry.

A hemp-legalization measure poised for final action in Congress this month would set up a two-tier system for drug felons, McClatchy’s Washington bureau reported.

Felons already growing hemp in states that don’t ban their participation – such as Colorado – would be allowed to continue, according to McClatchy, but farmers looking to enter the industry would have to show they have not been convicted of a drug felony in the past 10 years.

An earlier Farm Bill approved by the Senate would have instituted a lifetime ban on felons growing legal hemp, a move that could have put some existing farmers out of business.

The compromise comes amid broad reports that congressional agricultural negotiators have agreed to take hemp out of the Controlled Substances Act in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The specific language is not scheduled to be made public until next week.

Here’s what you need to know about the Farm Bill waiting game:

  • The House and Senate must agree to a Farm Bill before Christmas in order to get it to President Donald Trump for his final signature. Any pending legislation not approved by the end of the year dies until a new Congress takes over in January.
  • The Farm Bill has been stuck in negotiations for months, mostly over disagreements on whether able-bodied adults getting food stamps should be required to work.
  • Farm Bill negotiators said last month that a deal has been struck. Negotiators have told reporters that the final compromise includes the provision to take hemp out of the Controlled Substances Act and makes clear that the plant can be grown for CBD production.

The hemp industry has been broadly anticipating Farm Bill expansion and making big investments with the expectation that legal barriers for CBD products will be reduced.

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3 comments on “Report: Felons already growing hemp can continue under Farm Bill compromise
  1. Jason on

    The controlled substances act is a gross violation of the commerce clause and unconstitutional to the core. Would prefer that the bill recognize the illegality of the CSA, and note that cannabis wasn’t illegal to begin with.

    Reply
  2. Gloria Anderson on

    Well- here they go again. Even with all the evidence clearly showing the lopsidedness in our legal system and how racist Cannabis/Hemp/Marijuana laws have targeted Black and Hispanic Citizens- this is yet another way to prevent people of color from benefiting from the most lucrative opportunity in both USA and world history. This new industry has incredible potential- but if this legislation is not done fairly and equitably- it will forever be tainted as more proof that America will never rise to its’ full potential because of deeply-rooted racism. Even in the bullet points of this article, subtle wording like “…able-bodied adults getting food stamps should be required to work” arouses embedded hostilities in some who already despise the idea of people of color being helped by a system set up to help all Citizens. I’m all for working- but why should a family be placed in jeopardy like this when the job they get will likely (1) Have no benefits, (2) Be minimum wage or less-with inadequate work hours (3) Put young Children to a greater disadvantage by causing unnecessary instability. And if these young Mothers do work, their benefits will be reduced substantially. This matter actually concerns young Mothers (with young Children) who need food assistance through SNAP and should not be a part of these negotiations. Why is it always “okay” to wipe the floor with people of color? When does the time end after you’ve served a sentence for a crime you should never have been charged with in the first place? A clean bill without these undertones should be passed, and any Marijuana-related charges should be extinguished from any record. The laws were racist and applied unfairly to begin with- and should not be part of consideration in the 2018 Farm Bill. Pass a clean bill and stop trying to create winners and losers. Interesting how those “already growing” are being exempted from the law. No question who these Citizens are. We all pay taxes and should have an equal opportunity to prosper from the Cannabis/Hemp/Marijuana Industry.

    Reply
    • Red on

      ” Interesting how those “already growing” are being exempted from the law.”
      They also said only in states where felons are banned in, like in Colorado. So any and all the felons growing hemp already are still banned from growing unless it’s been 10years since their last conviction.

      Reply

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