Posted May 7, 2014
 
Kentucky’s first legal hemp crop since the 1950s is ready to be planted this month, according to an article by the Southeastern Farm Press available here.
 
While Kentucky has already been on track for hemp production, passing Senate Bill 50 which exempts industrial hemp from the state controlled substances act, industrial hemp cultivation for research was recently allowed in the 2014 farm bill, signed into law on Feb. 7. 
 
Kentucky will begin several new pilot research projects around the state through the University of Kentucky, Murray State University, and University of Louisville.  The programs will study the cultivation of Kentucky Heirloom hemp seed, hemp fiber, bio-remediation, and renewable energy.
 
Agricultural Commissioner James Comer said he expects the first batch of hemp seeds to arrive soon at the state Agricultural Department, according to an article by the Courier-Journal available here.  “We’re rapidly approaching a crucial time for the seeds to be put in the ground,” he said. 
 
“Hopefully we can get enough seeds to have credible research data gathered by this fall,” said Comer.  “And next year, hopefully we’ll have enough seeds to have several processors in the state and several farmers under contract growing it.”

 

For more information, a recent report on hemp as an agricultural commodity from the Congressional Research Service is available on the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.