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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Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

Updated 6 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.