Kentucky Proud

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer revived the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission after a 10-year hiatus. The commission met for the first time in November 2012, and two entities — Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's political action committee — each committed $50,000 to fund its operation. In January 2013, the commission approved Senate Bill 50, which sets up an administrative framework for industrial hemp production in Kentucky. SB 50 was passed in the Kentucky General Assembly in March and will become law in the summer of 2013.

    Duties of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission include:
  • Establishing a program to license Kentucky hemp growers
  • Establishing and overseeing a five-year hemp research program with the University of Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station and other public universities that choose to participate
  • Working with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research to study the use of hemp in new energy technologies
  • Working with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to raise awareness of financial incentives for businesses that manufacture hemp products
Comer - Hemp Commission
    The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission is made up of:
  • The speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives or the speaker's designee;
  • The president of the Kentucky Senate or the president's designee;
  • The chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee;
  • The chair of the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee;
  • The Kentucky commissioner of agriculture or the commissioner's designee;
  • The commissioner of the Kentucky State Police or the commissioner's designee;
  • The executive director of the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy or the executive director's designee;
  • The dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture or the dean's designee;
  • One member from each Kentucky public university that chooses to participate;
  • The president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association;
  • The president of the Kentucky Sheriffs Association or the president's designee;
  • Three members appointed by the speaker of the House and three members appointed by the president of the Senate representing Kentucky farmers interested in growing industrial hemp, retailers of industrial hemp products, wholesalers of industrial hemp products, and manufacturers of industrial hemp products; and
  • Two at-large members on a recommendation of the chair and approved by a majority of the members of the commission.

- Members shall serve a term of four years and may be reappointed.

- The Kentucky agriculture commissioner shall serve as vice chair, and the members of the commission shall elect a chair each year.

- The Kentucky Department of Agriculture shall provide administrative support to the commission.