Comer is Hopeful Beshear Would Ultimately Sign Hemp Bill Into Law

Feb 8, 2013

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

A leading Kentucky supporter of legalizing industrial hemp admits the effort doesn't have the support of Gov. Beshear--at least not yet.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will join several members of Kentucky's Congressional delegation Monday at a legislative hearing in Frankfort about a hemp bill filed in the state Senate. That measure would create a regulatory infrastructure for growing and marketing hemp if federal laws regarding the crop are eventually changed.

Comer was asked by WKU Public Radio if he has talked to Gov. Beshear about whether or not he would sign such legislation into law.

"He says he's studying it," Comer said, followed by a laugh. "Governor Beshear is a good man, and we're still working with him. I'm confident if we can get the bill passed in the House and Senate that he'll be supportive of it. I think he realizes it's a popular issue."

Testifying in favor of hemp legalization Monday will be U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Bowling Green, and Kentucky Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie.

Also making an appearance will be former CIA Director James Woolsey.

"He was CIA Director under Bill Clinton," said Comer. "He's a very big energy expert, a member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, and a big proponent of legalizing industrial hemp. So that's a very bipartisan panel."

Monday's hearing is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. eastern in room 131 in the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.