Hemp

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An amendment legalizing hemp production for research has made it into the Farm Bill that will be up for a vote soon in Congress. The amendment, co-sponsored by Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie, allows universities and state agriculture departments to grow hemp for study purposes.

Kentucky officials are again approaching the United States Drug Enforcement Administration about growing industrial hemp in the state. 

Sen. Rand Paul and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer are playing a game of chicken with the federal government over the growing of industrial hemp in the state.

Encouraged by the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission, Comer and Paul plan to draft a letter to U.S. Department of Justice indicating that Kentucky will proceed with adopting regulations and issuing permits for farmers to begin planting the controversial crop as early as next February, unless they are told otherwise.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is finalizing details for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., to try and get a federal waiver for industrial hemp. 

Earlier this year, Kentucky lawmakerspassed a bill setting up a regulatory framework for hemp growing in Kentucky. Comer promises to work at the federal level for legalization or a waiver.

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Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is allowing a bill regulating hemp in Kentucky to become law without his signature.

Supporters of Senate Bill 50 were concerned that the Governor might veto the bill after he continually expressed concerns that law enforcement groups had with the bill.

But those concerns apparently weren't enough to veto the bill, as the governor says he will let it become law.

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Another supporter has come out in favor of industrial hemp in Kentucky. The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, announced today that it supports hemp as a crop for oil and fiber.

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Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue.

The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.

As Kentucky and federal lawmakers consider legalizing industrial hemp, the chair of the University of Kentucky's agriculture economics department notes that such an industry won't rise overnight.

KY Department of Agriculture

The second meeting of the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission will soon begin sorting through the details of its efforts to bring legalized hemp to Kentucky.

The commission will work on the details of a new legislative bill proposal, such what the bill will include and which legislators will sponsor it during the 2013 session, said the chairman, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

kyagr.com

Kentucky Agriculture Secretary James Comer said recent measures in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana use will only strengthen efforts to allow industrial hemp in the commonwealth.

Marijuana and hemp are considered cousins. Hemp is grown for its fiber and oil and it can'’t be used as a drug like marijuana can.

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