Posted January 24, 2014
 
An amendment to the farm bill may allow for industrial hemp production, according to an article by KY Forward available here.
 
An amendment in the House version of the bill, H.R. 2642, could make industrial hemp production legal.  Kentucky Congressman, Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced the amendment along with Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).  Massie said he feels confident the amendment will survive the farm bill negotiations between the House and Senate.
 
“We’ve got Sen. (Mitch) McConnell in the Senate and he’s been very supportive of industrial hemp for Kentucky, so I’m optimistic and hopeful that the compromised version of the bill we end up voting on will contain the hemp amendment,” said Massie.
 
Kentucky passed a hemp production law last year, but only in the event that the federal government allows it.  While the Department of Justice released a statement that states passing such regulation would be in charge of enforcing it, the statement did not assure Kentucky officials that hemp production would be lawful in the state.
 
The American Farm Bureau Federation recently passed a resolution urging the repeal of the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader article available here.The effort was led by the Indiana Farm Bureau at the national group’s annual meeting last week.
 
In addition, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he recently asked the U.S. Attorney General’s office to review the classification.

 

For more information on farm bills and a recent report on hemp as an agricultural commodity from the Congressional Research Service, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here and  here.