Lawmakers photo

GenCanna™ President Steve Bevan met with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and leaders from Kentucky’s hemp industry on Monday for a dialogue about the future of industrial hemp. The roundtable discussed how farmers, producers/processors, and legislators can continue to support the growth of this industry in the Commonwealth and provide new opportunities for Kentucky’s farm families.

Following the meeting, Leader McConnell announced a strong and fundamental support for removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, a benchmark moment for the growing hemp economy and a hopeful bellwether of future national legislation. “Hemp has played a foundational role in Kentucky's agriculture heritage, and I believe that it can be an important part of our future,” Leader McConnell said during the press conference.

Leader McConnell pointed to a future where hemp is a thriving agricultural product, saying, “I believe we’re ready to take the next step, and build upon the success we’ve seen with Kentucky’s Hemp Pilot Program. So I will be introducing, when I go back to the Senate a week from Monday, a bipartisan bill in the Senate to continue to support this important Kentucky industry. It will be the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.” Leader McConnell continued his clear and compelling support saying, “This bill (Hemp Farming Act of 2018) will finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of Controlled Substances.”

Leader McConnell also spoke to the lineage of tobacco farming in Kentucky, and to the opportunity for companies like GenCanna™ – who’s farming partners are current or previous tobacco farmers – to help transition that legacy to hemp, saying, “We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become, sometime in the future, what burley tobacco was in Kentucky’s past.” GenCanna’s production facility at the Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky – a re-purposed former tobacco research facility – demonstrates this clear linkage of hemp’s future to Kentucky’s tobacco past.

This followed days after Leader McConnell successfully passed the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill which again included language that specifically approves the interstate and international transportation of hemp and hemp-derived products. “Leader McConnell is the number one champion of the hemp industry,” said GenCanna™ CEO Matty Mangone Miranda, “With his support we have been able to create nearly 100 jobs and have invested tens of millions of dollars into Kentucky's people and economy. We are grateful that Leader McConnell continues to pave the legislative way for regulatory structure and law enforcement comfort for our mainstream agricultural industry.”

“Four years after GenCanna™ was Kentucky’s first CBD specific Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program participant, we are ecstatic with Leader McConnell's continued leadership for hemp. Kentucky leads the nation thanks to these efforts,” said GenCanna™ President Steve Bevan, “As a company, GenCanna™ is extremely proud of our local job creation and $40M in economic impact over the last 4 years. With Leader McConnell’s stewardship, Kentucky will continue to be a global superpower when it comes to hemp, and GenCanna™ will be there every step of the way.”

Deregulation means positive economic impact for American farmers especially in Kentucky, which has been a champion for industrial hemp. “Here in Kentucky, we have built the best Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program in the country and have established a model for how other states can do the same with buy-in from growers, processors, and law enforcement,” Commissioner Quarles said, “I want to thank Leader McConnell for introducing this legislation which allows us to harness the economic viability of this crop and presents the best opportunity to put hemp on a path to commercialization.”

GenCanna™ is proud to continue working with tremendous leaders to innovate and drive positive change in the hemp industry, and remains clear in the position that hemp, and the products derived from hemp, are food.

Read the full press release: