It’s a cool, overcast afternoon at Gaining Grounds Farm, about 60 miles south of Lexington. About 90 people, many of them veterans, farmers, or a combination thereof, are seated under a makeshift tent, taking refuge from a light rain that’s drizzling Gaining Ground's undulating 425 acres.
A group of Kentucky military veteran farmers say they will plant a crop of hemp seeds this week following a federal court hearing.
The Kentucky Agriculture Department had sued the Drug Enforcement Agency over the DEA's seizure of hemp seeds imported for research. A judge ruled that the seeds can be released with the proper permits.
Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner says he’s looking forward to a court hearing today over his department’s lawsuit against the federal government. James Comer sued three government agencies—including the U.S. Justice Department—over a 250 pound shipment of hemp seeds being held by federal customs officials in Louisville.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is offering to assist hemp supporters as the state prepares for the start of a hemp-growing pilot program this year. The pilot projects were made possible by the passage of the United States Farm Bill that was signed into law by the President on Feb. 7.
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.
A leading Kentucky politician is weighing the idea of legalizing medical marijuana in the state.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo said today he's leaning toward supporting the use of medicinal marijuana and that the topic is worth debating. Legislation to legalize medical marijuana has been introduced in the General Assembly in the past but has never received the support needed to pass.
Stumbo raised the issue after Attorney General Jack Conway sent an advisory letter to Governor Steve Beshear, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and other state leaders to clarify current law related to marijuana’s cousin, hemp.