Kentucky is set to legalize the growing of industrial hemp, according to James Comer, the Agriculture Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This will come about, he says, if Congress finishes work on a farm bill which includes language about the plant.
If they receive the green light from the federal government, Comer said today that the state’s Agriculture Department would begin to issue licenses to farmers who wish to grow the crop. While this year’s crop is likely to be small, according to Comer, it would signal the end of what has been a decades-long ban on growing hemp.
The plant was banned after the government classified it as a controlled substances related to marijuana. Hemp contains only a tiny amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient responsible for the high that comes from marijuana smoking.
The federal farm bill agreement would allow a pilot program to be set up for growing hemp in the state. Last year, Kentucky legislators passed a bill to allow for the industrial usage of hemp provided that the federal government would lift the ban.
By Nancy Schimelpfening