The bill includes a provision that would make hemp a legal agricultural commodity after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky championed the proposal, even joining the farm bill conference committee to ensure it would be incorporated. Among other changes to existing law, hemp will be removed from the federal list of controlled substances and hemp farmers will be able to apply for crop insurance.
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Democrats and Republicans said they reached a tentative deal on farm legislation after jettisoning controversial work requirements for food stamp recipients demanded by President Donald Trump and conservatives in the House.
Lawmakers said Thursday they expect both chambers to take up the legislation as soon as next week after House-Senate negotiators resolved differences between their versions of the agriculture measures. The bill would renew farm subsidies, federal crop insurance and food aid for low-income families for five years.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas, along with the top Democrats on the panels, said they reached a tentative deal without detailing all the provisions. Farm programs under current law began to expire Sept. 30.
“The certainty that the farm bill brings to the table for the next five years is the win,” Conaway said.