Congress passes farm bill, stripped of conservative priorities

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House and Senate negotiators have struck a deal over long-stalled legislation to revamp the way sexual harassment complaints are made and handled on Capitol Hill, multiple congressional sources close to the process told CNN on Wednesday, likely assuring the bill's final passage this year.

On page 738 of the massive, 807-page, $867 billion spending bill is a provision inserted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that legalizes hemp production, processing, and sale-removing the plant from the Controlled Substances Act.

Trump has 10 days to sign or veto the $867 billion bill; his signature is considered nearly certain as Congress scrambles to finish its work before this session ends December 21. As early as mid-December, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is expected to remove CBD from its Schedule I list of controlled substances. Village Farms is also working with other parties to have hemp removed from the controlled substance lists of other US states to enable the Company to pursue opportunities outside Texas.

The farm bill would give states the power to restrict the growing or selling of hemp, though it's not clear many would.

A federal ban had effectively halted production of hemp for years over fears that it would pave the way for the cultivation of marijuana.

Thursday, Eyewitness News spoke with farmers and rural Kansas families about what the passed Farm Bill actually means for them.

Green Mountain CBD grows hemp in a field in Hardwick
Green Mountain CBD grows hemp in a field in Hardwick

With that signature, hemp will become legal nationwide. "And, importantly, it provides our farmers, ranchers and other rural stakeholders much needed certainty and predictability", said the Republican chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen.

"Seeing this bill from start to finish has been a surreal experience, and what we are putting forth is a great bill that looks at agriculture from all angles", Marshall said. The federal government heavily regulates and restricts commercial use of hemp because of its relation to cannabis. Stevens, who oversees various grants for environmentally-focused groups in the Rocky Mountain region, said that Patagonia may even fund hemp farming and research projects in the future. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to pursue or implement the hemp-related business initiatives contemplated herein.

The federal legalization of hemp will also undoubtedly attract investors and businesses from outside the U.S. The Company is now leveraging its 30 years of experience as a vertically integrated grower for the rapidly emerging global cannabis opportunity through a 50% ownership of British Columbia-based Pure Sunfarms Corp., one of the single largest cannabis growing operations in the world. "As a company, we're utilizing hemp as a source for CBD, but we look forward to the USA taking advantage of hemp's many other industrial uses, such as a source of building and construction materials, material for bio-composite purposes, clean biofuels, as well as a viable source of nutrition".

At the end of the day, Mayor Marlowe believes the farm bill will come with positive changes locally. And for the first time in decades, it allows U.S. farmers to produce industrial hemp, a non-hallucinatory version of marijuana. The bill guarantees $435 million in permanent funding to educate military veterans, socially disadvantaged and novice farmers by tripling the current budget of the Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach Program. "This full legalization provides economic opportunity for farmers across rural OR and rural America-good for jobs, good for our communities, and just good common sense".

The bill also affects research into the plant.

Google+ to shut down early after new bug bites 52.2 million users
The personal information that was exposed was from people's Google+ profiles, including names, ages and occupations. Perhaps even more impactful, all Google+ APIs are scheduled to be completely shut down within the next 90 days.

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