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.
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.
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.
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.