Harrison County farmer Brian Furnish has been chosen as the new chairman of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission. Furnish said yesterday that Kentucky is at the forefront of efforts to revive the crop. His election as chairman came during a meeting of the hemp commission.
State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stepped aside as commission chairman in accordance with legislation that passed the General Assembly and is set to take effect. Under the new law, the agriculture commissioner will serve as the hemp commission's vice chairman. The state law would allow the crop to be reintroduced, but only if the federal government lifted its prohibition on the plant. Hemp flourished in Kentucky until it was banned decades ago when the federal government classified it as a controlled substance related to marijuana.