Commissioner Quarles Says USDA Legal Opinion Provides Certainty to Hemp Industry
USDA Opinion Affirms Hemp May Be Transported Across State Lines
FRANKFORT (May 29, 2019) — Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles issued a statement following the publication of a legal opinion from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on hemp clarifying that hemp is a legal agricultural crop that can be moved across state lines:
“The policy announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture confirms what Kentucky has been saying all along: The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal nationwide, and it is unlawful for any state agency to interfere in the transportation of lawfully produced hemp. This announcement provides much-needed certainty for the hemp industry in Kentucky and across the nation.
“When Kentucky hosted USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach in April, he and I discussed lingering issues involving the interstate commerce and transportation of hemp – issues that continue to hinder the industry even though hemp is a legal agricultural commodity. With around 1,000 licensed hemp growers and more than 56,000 acres of hemp production approved this year in Kentucky, it is important for Kentucky’s hemp community to have certainty regarding the interstate transportation of their crop. I am grateful to Under Secretary Ibach for seeking input from states with hemp programs and for working expeditiously to implement the hemp provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill.”