industrial hemp en Kentucky AG Jack Conway Gives the OK to Begin Growing Hemp <p></p><p>Six universities in Kentucky may now begin growing legal hemp this year. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told Kentucky Public Radio his office has received the go-ahead from the Attorney General's office to begin pilot projects with the plant.</p><p>Those projects were made possible by last year's state legislation providing a regulatory framework and a provision inserted in a recent federal farm bill. Comer says his office will begin immediately to finalize regulations concerning the growth and production of hemp.</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 11:37:12 +0000 Joe Corcoran 46123 at Kentucky AG Jack Conway Gives the OK to Begin Growing Hemp Kentucky Ag Commissioner Reveals 5 Pilot Hemp Projects <p>Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the reintroduction of hemp production will start with at least five pilot projects across the state where the crop flourished until being banned for its ties to marijuana.</p><p>Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Monday he doesn't know how many hemp acres will be planted this year.</p><p>The new federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp-cultivation pilot projects for research in states that already allow the growing of hemp. Farmers will work with university researchers to study the crop.</p><p>Central Kentucky farmer Michael Lewis says the size of his hemp crop depends on the availability of seeds.</p><p>Hemp production was banned by the federal government decades ago. Hemp and marijuana are the same species. Hemp has a negligible content of the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 18:09:33 +0000 Associated Press 43938 at Kentucky Ag Commissioner Reveals 5 Pilot Hemp Projects Comer to Announce Details on Kentucky's Pilot Hemp Projects Monday <p></p><p>Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is moving forward with the creation of industrial hemp pilot projects in the commonwealth.</p><p>The announcement was expected after President Obama signed a Farm Bill into law last week that allows hemp to be grown in the U.S. for research purposes. Staff members in the offices of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and&nbsp; Attorney General Jack Conway are reviewing the bill’s language regarding pilot projects to make sure whatever happens in Kentucky is within federal guidelines.</p><p>Comer, a farmer from Monroe County, says he plans to provide more details on Kentucky's pilot hemp projects at an announcement Feb. 17. He says the projects will be based throughout different parts of the state and will have research focuses with different university affiliations.</p><p>Comer wants U.S. &nbsp;law enforcement agencies to allow certain hemp seeds for the pilot project to be imported. That’s one of the first steps necessary to get any form of hemp farming off the ground in this country.</p><p>According to a news release from Commissioner Comer’s office, Attorney General Conway has pledged to work for a waiver from federal drug laws that would eventually allow for the expansion of industrial hemp production for commercial purposes. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:11:04 +0000 Kevin Willis 43845 at Comer to Announce Details on Kentucky's Pilot Hemp Projects Monday Kentucky Lawmakers Among Hemp Supporters Applauding Farm Bill <p></p><p>Hemp advocates are calling the Farm Bill signed into law by President Obama a major milestone for the crop.</p><p>Pro-hemp groups think research pilot programs included in the bill will lead to greater things down the road. The Farm Bill signed by the President Friday contains an amendment that legalizes hemp production in the U.S. for research purposes.</p><p>The amendment was originally introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. Congressmen, including Republican Thomas Massie, from Kentucky’s 4<sup>th</sup> Congressional district. The amendment gives the green light to state agriculture departments and colleges and universities to grow hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes.</p><p>However, the new rules only apply to states like Kentucky that have already legalized industrial hemp farming.</p><p>The hemp issue gained momentum in the commonwealth last year, with state agriculture commissioner James Comer making legalization his top legislative priority.</p><p>Hemp farming has also been endorsed by Kentucky GOP &nbsp;Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, as well as the state’s only Congressional Democrat, Representative John Yarmuth of Louisville. Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:05:00 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 43521 at Kentucky Lawmakers Among Hemp Supporters Applauding Farm Bill Hemp Supporters Applaud Federal Farm Bill <p>Hemp supporters are hailing the federal Farm Bill that Congress will vote on in coming days.&nbsp; The bipartisan agreement is expected to clear the House and Senate.&nbsp; The measure contains a provision that allows universities and state agriculture departments to grow hemp for research purposes.&nbsp;</p><p>“Hemp has this long history in the United States, but that history pretty much ended in the 1950s, and all the genetics are lost.&nbsp; We need to have research on new varieties," says Eric Steenstra, president of&nbsp; the advocacy group Vote Hemp. &nbsp; "A lot of things have changed in the last 60 years, and there are new markets and opportunities.”</p><p>Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill last year that allows industrial hemp production if a federal ban is lifted.&nbsp;</p><p>“For months, we have tried to get some assurance at the federal level that Kentucky producers can grow industrial hemp without fear of government harassment or prosecution. This is what we’ve been waiting for,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said in a news release.</p><p>Comers hails the Farm Bill provision as a giant step toward restoring the crop, which used to make products ranging from clothes to cosmetics.</p><p>Hemp was banned decades ago when the government classified it as a controlled substance related to marijuana.</p><p>Eleven states, including Tennessee, have introduced hemp legislation this year. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:35:52 +0000 Lisa Autry 43031 at Hemp Supporters Applaud Federal Farm Bill