Kentucky closer to getting hemp seeds; commission adopts rules for hemp programs
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture made progress today in its efforts to complete delivery of a shipment of hemp seeds being held by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, KDA officials reported to the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission today.
“We’ve come a long way, and I believe we are on the verge of making history,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told the panel in his Frankfort office.
Officials from the department and the DEA are to report to U.S. District Judge John Heyburn on Wednesday in Louisville.
Commissioner Comer said he continues to hear from industrial hemp processors who are interested in locating in Kentucky if large-scale hemp production returns to the Commonwealth.
Also today, the commission approved regulations that would govern the eight pilot programs set to launch at universities across the state. The commission is authorized to write regulations to administer the hemp pilot programs under Senate Bill 50, the 2013 legislation that legalized hemp production in Kentucky. The regulations now go to the governor’s office for his approval.
Commissioner Comer gave credit to a bipartisan team of elected officials — including Gov. Steve Beshear, state Attorney General Jack Conway, U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie — for helping bring Kentucky to the verge of its first industrial hemp crop in almost 70 years.
“History will show we stood for something worth fighting for,” Commissioner Comer said.