U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has picked up an unlikely but influential ally in his crusade to remove hemp from the list of federally controlled substances: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

McConnell announced March 26 that he will sponsor the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would allow hemp—a biological relative of cannabis—to be sold as an agricultural commodity.

Wyden will co-sponsor the bill.

"As the first senator to introduce this legislation to lift the outdated and nonsensical ban on growing hemp in Oregon and nationwide," Wyden says, "I look forward to reintroducing our bipartisan bill this year and working to build even more support for our farmers to grow industrial hemp on American soil."