Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Overview
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is conducting an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program as authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C.§ 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill). Individuals and businesses who would like to be considered for participation in the Kentucky pilot program must submit the appropriate license application to KDA Hemp Program, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601 prior to the established deadlines.
Industrial Hemp is a Controlled Substance and requires a KDA License to Grow or Process
Industrial hemp plants, leaf, floral and viable seed materials remain a Schedule I Controlled Substance under state and federal law; no person can grow, handle, or process industrial hemp in Kentucky without a license in the Department's Program.
KDA has made available a complete list of 2017 participants (under Forms & Documents in right column) by name and county, including both growers and processors. Please note the listed name is the name in which the participant License is issued, either by individual or by company. The listed county is the county where sites are licensed to grow or process industrial hemp. This list does not include affiliated university projects. Kentucky licensed processors and handlers are given the option to make their contact information available on our Processor/Handler List. The current list can be found to the right under Forms & Documents.
Goals and Growth of the Research Program
The KDA has chosen to research industrial hemp because of the intense interest and enthusiasm across the Commonwealth for this historic crop. The Department seeks to build a body of knowledge on hemp agronomics that will lay a solid foundation for a thriving industry should hemp be removed from the federal government’s list of controlled substances.
Kentucky farmers seeking an agricultural crop for inclusion in crop rotation plans or as a replacement crop may find that industrial hemp is a viable option. To date over 50 processors have been admitted into the KDA pilot program and are developing infrastructure with sufficient capacity to process hemp grown by farmers all across Kentucky. In the first year of the program, farmers planted 33 acres and succeeded with a modest harvest. In 2015, over 900 acres were planted and about 500 were successfully harvested.
In 2016 we had reports of over 2,300 acres planted and about 2,000 acres harvested. See the 2016 Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Production Report Summary under Forms & Documents for full details of the 2016 program. The 2017 growing season saw another increase in hemp acreage in Kentucky with more than 3,200 acres planted. KDA is currently compiling the results of the 2017 Grower and Processor Production Reports and will be releasing that information as soon as possible.
Sign-up to Receive Updates
Persons interested in Kentucky's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and not already on the email notification list should send an email email@example.com with your name and contact information to be added to the list. Notifications will include announcements for industrial hemp field days, conferences, application releases, etc.