An amendment to legalize the growing of industrial hemp for research passed the U.S. House Thursday by an eight-vote margin, the first to pass in fifty years.
The amendment is part of the Farm Bill and allows colleges and universities to cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. However, it only applies to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal.
The amendment was attached to last month's unsuccessful version of the Farm Bill. If the Senate approves it, Kentucky would join Hawaii and Maryland as the only states authorizing hemp research.
“This amendment is a small but fundamental change in the laws that hopefully will one day allow Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp again," said Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-4). "It's our goal that the research this amendment enables would further broadcast the economic benefits of the sustainable and job-creating crop. I look forward to working on this issue."