The bill could be good for medical marijuana in the United States but contains some controversial limitations
A new federal farm bill is expected to provide a major boost to medical cannabis stocks that use CBD derived from hemp. The bill includes nationwide legalization of hemp, marijuana’s non-hallucinogenic sister plant. The bill could come up for a vote on the Senate floor within the next week.
According to Politico, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts is only waiting on the Congressional Budget Office to score the bill so he can bring it up for a vote. Roberts said his people are working “24/7” to get the bill through as quickly as possible.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking credit for the provision, calling it his own. In a recent tweet, McConnell positioned himself as a champion for farmers and rural communities through his work to legalize industrial hemp.
While the provision will open the door for medical CBD by leaving no question about the legality of hemp, it includes strict rules that limit who can participate in the industry. All individuals with a drug-related felony on their record will be prohibited from the national hemp industry for life.
Since the majority of felony controlled substance offenses are for selling cannabis, the prohibition is a bit of a catch-22. Additionally, the ban maintains the status quo of the War on Drugs and will block a disproportionate number of people of color from participating in the new industry.
News of the bill did not immediately boost CBD stocks in the United States or in Canada. The U.S. Marijuana Index broke even on Thursday at 109.69 while the Canadian Index fell 16.49 points to end the day at 537.72.