HLG week in review 9.7

Kentucky Farmers Find Hemp More Profitable Than Tobacco, Utah governor says it’s time for medical marijuana to be available

In Kentucky, Farmers Find Hemp May Be More Profitable Than Tobacco

Perhaps the most misunderstood agricultural product on the market today, industrial hemp is seeing a surge of growth among U.S. agriculture producers now planting the crop in record numbers, often replacing staples like soy, corn and tobacco. With growing interest from farmers looking for more profitable harvests — and support from power brokers like U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushing for legalization — the legislative scales may be tipping in favor of freeing hemp from federal prohibition as early as this year. Read more

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs bill legalizing industrial hemp

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Saturday signed a bill legalizing industrial hemp, adding Illinois to a growing list of states that allow the growth of cannabis for non-drug purposes. “Legalizing the farming of industrial hemp just makes good sense,” Rauner said in a statement. “Roughly 38 states — including our neighbors in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee — have allowed or are considering allowing cultivation of this crop for commercial, research or pilot programs. Our farmers should have this option as well.” Read more

The White House Allegedly Has A Marijuana Smear Squad. Cannabis Experts Say Bring It On

The Trump administration has supposedly assembled a team of federal agency leaders for the purpose of promoting negative views on U.S. cannabis legalization. Cannabis industry members and advocates say the effort would be deeply misguided, and ultimately too late. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported that the White House has "secretly amassed" a committee of federal agencies meant to "combat public support for marijuana and cast state legalization measures in a negative light" while also "attempting to portray the drug as a national threat," based on interviews and documents acquired by BuzzFeed. Read more

Utah governor says it’s time for medical marijuana to be available — but ballot initiative isn’t the best way

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert still plans to vote “no” on Proposition 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state. But he said Thursday that whether the ballot initiative passes or fails, Utah’s lawmakers need to work to make medical cannabis available to patients. “If it doesn’t pass, then we need to get with the Legislature and come back into session and create a better law,” Herbert said. “If it does pass, we still have the same challenge, and that’s working with the Legislature and all the stakeholders." Read more