Hemp

Agriculture
5:00 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Kentucky Hemp Commissioner: Hemp a Natural Fit for Healthy Foods, Auto Manufacturing

Efforts to once again make hemp legal to grow in the U.S. have picked up steam lately.

The chairman of Kentucky's Industrial Hemp Commission believes it's just a matter of time before the crop is once again legal in the U.S.

Brian Furnish says it was a major accomplishment to get an amendment regarding hemp added to the farm bill recently passed by the U.S. House. While there's no guarantee the amendment will be included in the version of the measure passed by the Senate, Furnish says he's confident public support for hemp farming is growing.

The Harrison County farmer told WKU Public Radio that hemp seeds could become a popular food ingredient in this country.

"It's high in protein, it doesn't have any cholesterol. It has omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in it. And really nobody knows about it here. They eat it all over the world, but here nobody has promoted it as a food source."

Furnish also thinks the crop is a natural fit with a major industry in our region--auto manufacturing. He says if hemp is once again legal to grow in the U.S, auto manufacturers could follow the lead of their European counterparts who use hemp to build vehicle parts.

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Politics
12:02 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

James Comer: Stressing Social Issues Not the Key to Election Success for the GOP

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

WKU Public Radio's interview with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says Republicans need to focus on the economy in order to win statewide office, as opposed to stressing social issues.

In an interview at WKU Public Radio Wednesday, James Comer said the GOP has alienated a lot of key voting groups by making hot-button social topics the cornerstone of their campaigns.

“I’m proud to be a social conservative, but I’m not going to run any campaign in the future—regardless of what I run for—specifically on social issues. That has driven off young voters, and that has driven off female voters.”

Comer’s comments echo much of what Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul has said recently about the future of the GOP, and the party’s need to become more attractive to groups of voters that will determine Republicans’ future electoral prospects.

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Agriculture
1:12 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Beshear Writes Letter to President, Asking for Help with Hemp Issue

Hemp was once legally grown throughout the U.S.

Governor Steve Beshear sent a letter to President Obama this week asking for help in identifying economic opportunities for industrial hemp production.

In the letter, Beshear asked the U.S. Attorney General, Agriculture Secretary, D.E.A., and others to look for ways hemp could eventually be grown and marketed that don’t negatively impact Kentucky’s drug eradication efforts.

In April, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer led a bipartisan delegation to Washington to lobby lawmakers and White House officials to legalize industrial hemp. Kentucky lawmakers this year passed a bill that would set up the regulatory framework for growing and marketing hemp if the crop is removed from the federal government’s list of banned substances.

Agriculture
2:00 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Gov. Steve Beshear: Law Enforcement Issues with Hemp Must Be Worked Out

Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue.

The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.

“I think we’re going to have to answer those questions before we can really move forward in the industrial hemp area,” Beshear said.

Kentucky is central in the movement to legalize hemp as an agricultural crop, largely thanks to the advocacy of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

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Agriculture
3:59 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Kentucky Hemp Commission Will Work on Proposal, Economic Impact Study

The second meeting of the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission will include picking out some details of panel’s efforts. The commission, chaired by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, will dive Friday morning into specifics of a new legislative proposal.

They include the bill’s language and which legislators will sponsor it during the 2013 session.

Comer says a state university will be selected to conduct a new economic study of legalizing industrial hemp in Kentucky.

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Agriculture
3:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

In Debate Over Hemp, a Question about State vs. Federal Drug Laws

Recent calls by high-ranking Kentucky officeholders to legalize industrial hemp have put the spotlight on the crop and what it might mean for Bluegrass State farmers. Both U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer say they want to see federal and state law changed to allow farmers to grow hemp legally.

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Agriculture
12:09 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Long Dormant Kentucky Hemp Commission Will Be Revived

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he is restarting the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission. The General Assembly created the commission ten years ago to look into hemp's potential in the commonwealth, but it has never met.

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Agriculture
12:59 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Sen. Paul, Agriculture Commissioner Want Industrial Hemp Legalized

Two of Kentucky’s highest profile Republicans are teaming up to rally for industrial hemp. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will hold a news conference on Thursday to double down on their support for the crop, which can be used for textiles or oil.

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Politics
5:35 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Hemp Making a Comeback?

Efforts to allow hemp production appear to be growing in Kentucky despite the defeat of another legalization effort this year in the General Assembly. State senator Joey Pendleton has repeatedly introduced hemp legalization bills in an effort to restore a crop that decades ago was a major industry in Kentucky. 

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