Kentucky Leaders Seek Hemp Answers from Federal Government

Nov 27, 2013

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Kentucky’s elected leaders are again asking the federal government whether or not the commonwealth can legally grow industrial hemp.  Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and some members of Kentucky's congressional delegation have sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The letter asks the DEA to clarify its position on industrial hemp.  A Justice Department memo issued in August provides guidance concerning marijuana enforcement in states that have legalized marijuana.  Commissioner Comer believes industrial hemp should be treated the same way. 

"Recognizing the intent of the Aug. 29 memo, it would defy common sense to allow states to move forward with marijuana activity, but ignore states that have passed laws allowing for the production of industrial hemp," writes Comer. 

The letter is also signed by U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Congressmen Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth.  The letter puts the government on notice that Kentucky will move forward with hemp production unless the state hears otherwise.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 50 in the 2013 session that sets up a regulatory framework for hemp production.