McConnell recommends hemp face masks, talks up industry’s potential

Hemp face masks are “one of the best” ways to battle the spread of Covid-19, according to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell held up a black facial covering made of hemp Monday while touring an Ecofibre hemp factory in Georgetown, Kentucky. McConnell recommended masks and social distancing as the best tools to slow the pandemic while the nation awaits a vaccine

“I recommend a hemp mask as one of the best,” McConnell said in remarks aired by Lexington TV station WKYT.

McConnell talked about his efforts to revive hemp production in his home state. Kentucky saw a flurry of investment in hemp production after passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, but also saw some hemp businesses declare bankruptcy amid market volatility.

“Even though we had some rough patches here in the beginning with hemp in Kentucky, it does have a future,” he said.

“We’re going to get over the speed bumps, and (hemp) is ultimately going to be something extraordinarily important for our state and for the country.”

Ecofibre’s Kentucky plant received federal coronavirus stimulus assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. McConnell said he expects “another infusion of cash” for the program, despite partisan rancor in Washington DC.

“I haven’t given up hope,” he said.

Ecofibre is based in New South Wales, Australia, and trades on the Australian Stock Exchange as EOF.