Posted September 18, 2013
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer hopes Kentucky farmers plant hemp in April, saying that a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) gives his state the “green light,” according to WTVQ article, available here
The Courier-Journal reports that the Kentucky Hemp Commission will seek revisions to the state’s new hemp law next year and will also seek input from the federal government.  The commission and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will send a letter to federal officials notifying them of Kentucky’s plan to begin regulating and growing the crop.  According to a BG Daily News article available here, the letter will allow the Justice Department to voice any objections before further action is taken.
Comer says that “while hemp won’t replace major crops such as tobacco,” it is “another tool for farmers” and also has the potential “as a source of manufacturing jobs as it is processed.”
Major Anthony Terry of the Kentucky State Police said he did not vote and “would like clarification on the DOJ memo before any changes are made to Kentucky’s approach to hemp.”
Kentucky Senate Bill 50, now a law, sets up a regulatory framework for growing hemp.  Hemp is “related to marijuana; both contain the chemical that gives marijuana users a high – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC –” but there are only trace amounts of the chemical in hemp.
For more information on Kentucky’s efforts to produce hemp, a recent post from this blog is available here