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Hemp Forms Bipartisan Ties Between Wyden, McConnell

One normally doesn’t expect to see politicians like U.S. Senator Ron Wyden teaming up with polar opposites like Senator Mitch McConnell.

But if there’s one thing that binds the Oregon Democrat and the Kentucky Republican together, it’s hemp.  Both championed legalization and acceptance of hemp in the latest Farm Bill, which takes effect this year.

Wyden says in Oregon, there are hundreds of farmers who’ve expressed interest in growing hemp, and its potential economic clout.

"For example, a derivative of the hemp product known as CBD is often considered as something of great benefit from a health standpoint," he says.  "I’m still leading the fight at the Food and Drug Administration to get them to sort it out, to deal with regulations from the Department of Agriculture.”

For decades, hemp has often been confused with marijuana which hurt its industry appeal. But they differ by the amount of THC they contain, the chemical that can produce a “high” when ingested. 

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.