The final version of the 2018 Farm Bill was released this week and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) symbolically signed his name to the bill — which will federally legalize industrial hemp — using a pen made from hemp, the senator tweeted yesterday.
The bipartisan bill, when approved in its final vote sometime this week, is expected to pass President Trump’s desk into law without issue.
In his tweet, Sen. McConnell shared a video that loops himself signing the bill with a “hemp pen.”
“With today’s signature, my provision to legalize industrial hemp is 1 step closer to reality,” he wrote.
Making it official with my hemp pen!?️ Proud to have served as conferee on #FarmBill & to fight for #Kentucky priorities. With today’s signature, my provision to legalize industrial #hemp is 1 step closer to reality. Looking forward to voting YES on this bill & sending to @POTUS pic.twitter.com/8ypwBebXy7
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 10, 2018
There were some hangups in the process of consolidating the House and Senate versions of the bill, including a partisan dispute over adding work requirements to the federal food stamp program, SNAP.
There was also a contested effort to block people with felony convictions related to a controlled substance from participating in the soon-to-be-established federal hemp industry. Lawmakers reached a compromise, however, that would only block said individuals for the ten years directly following their drug-related conviction.