U.S. Rep.-elect Thomas Massie is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp. The proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. A similar bill is being co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.
Massie said industrial hemp, a cousin to marijuana, could be an important agricultural product for Kentucky farmers if the feds would allow it to be grown in the U.S.
Kentucky was once a leading producer of industrial hemp that's used in hundreds of products from cosmetics to clothing to canvas.
Massie said it also can be used in bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. Federal and state law enforcement agencies oppose loosening restrictions on industrial hemp.