Agriculture

Agriculture
12:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Industrial Hemp Bill Will Become Law Without Beshear's Signature

Kentucky farmers could grow hemp if the federal government removes the crop from a list of banned narcotics.

Governor Steve Beshear is allowing a bill regulating hemp in Kentucky to become law without his signature.

Supporters of Senate Bill 50 were concerned that the Governor might veto the bill after he continuely expressed concerns that law enforcement groups had with the bill.

But those concerns apparently weren't enough to veto the bill, as the governor says he will let it become law.

The bill allows the Department of Agriculture and Industrial Hemp Commission to issue licenses to grow hemp if a federal ban is lifted. It also allows the Kentucky State Police to do background checks on license applications.

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Agriculture
6:41 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Beshear Still Considering Whether to Sign Industrial Hemp Bill

Gov. Steve Beshear has until Saturday to sign or veto a bill that would open the door to industrial hemp farming in Kentucky. So far, he hasn't said what he'll do.

The General Assembly passed the bill last Tuesday in the final minutes of this year's legislative session, giving the governor 10 days excluding Sundays to veto it, according to the Legislative Research Commission.

The bill would allow Kentucky farmers to grow hemp if the federal government lifts its decades-long ban on the plant. Hemp can be used to make products ranging from paper to cosmetics.

It thrived as a crop in Kentucky for generations before it was classified as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Although hemp is similar to marijuana, it has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

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Agriculture
6:41 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Comer to Lead Pro-Hemp Delegation to Washington

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (left) is a leading advocate for industrial hemp.
Credit Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will lead a Kentucky delegation to Washington to ask for an exemption to allow farmers in his state to grow industrial hemp.

That announcement comes after the Kentucky Legislature passed a bill that lays the groundwork for licensing hemp growers if the federal government ever lifts a ban on the crop.

Hemp thrived in Kentucky generations ago but was banned after the federal government classified it as a controlled substance.

Comer has said hemp could be an economic boon for Kentucky. Besides creating another crop for the state's farmers, Comer said hemp could lead to manufacturing jobs that produce products ranging from paper to cosmetics.

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Agriculture
7:44 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Amended Hemp Bill Passes Kentucky Legislature; Deal Also Reached on Military Voting

Kentucky lawmakers have achieved a compromise that would set up a regulatory framework should the federal government legalize industrial hemp.

The so-called hemp bill—Senate Bill 50—gives control of licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission, but allow the Kentucky State Police to do background checks on the farmers.

The state Department of Agriculture would be given many administrative roles for licensing hemp farmers and the University of Kentucky would be charged with researching the issue.

The plan was agreed upon in the final hour of the 2013 General Assembly session. House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins says it's a good compromise.

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Agriculture
9:18 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Adkins: Hemp Negotiations Have Broken Down in Last Days of Session

Negotiations have broken down on a bill that would allow Kentucky to quickly license hemp growers if the federal government ever lifts a ban on the crop, according to a state legislative leader.

House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Catlettsburg, had voiced optimism early Monday that a deal could be struck between House and Senate negotiators before the Legislature adjourns on Tuesday. However, by Monday night, he said he was disappointed by the lack of progress.

The hemp legislation has been hotly debated this year in Frankfort and was languishing in the House before Adkins stepped in with a proposal that seemed to revive it.

Hemp thrived as a crop in Kentucky generations ago but has been banned for decades by the federal government after it was classified as a controlled substance.

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