Dec 15, 2018

Hemp is almost legal, thanks to the farm bill

Industrial hemp Photo: Arifoto UG/picture alliance via Getty Images

A provision in the massive farm bill approved by the Senate Wednesday, which is expected to be signed into law by President Trump, would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp — removing the plant near-identical to marijuana from the list of controlled substances and give growers access to crop insurance.

Why it matters: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who played a key role to decriminalize the potentially lucrative cash crop, said it would give farmers who are hurting from the loss of tobacco a significant boost. The measure is expected to allow the usage of hemp to produce products for use in construction, health care and manufacturing. For decades, growing hemp without a federal permit was illegal due to its ties to marijuana — even though it has an insignificant amount of psychoactive compound that gets marijuana users high.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors
  6. Sanders and Bloomberg battle over heart health

Trump has declared war on sanctuary cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Armed with subpoenas, lawsuits and immigration SWAT teams, the Trump administration has declared war on sanctuary cities.

The big picture: President Trump and his administration have used every available tool to try to crack down on local governments that refuse to hold immigrants in criminal custody, block immigration agents from working in county jails or deny federal authorities access to immigrants' records.

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

Illustration: Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Charles Eshelman, Steve Jennings, and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Founders Fund has raised $3 billion for a pair of new funds, so expect a slew of headlines about how "Peter Thiel's venture capital firm" is now flush with cash.

Behind the scenes: Thiel is essential to Founders Fund, but he's not autocratic. Instead, Axios has learned that he's one of three people with veto power over most FF investments, and is unable to do a deal without approval of the other two.