Growing Grass in the Bluegrass State

Lawmakers in Kentucky pushing for hemp farming in the land of tobacco, whiskey, and horses

Hemp in Manitoba
Hemp in Manitoba (by Photo by Scott T. Samson)

Kentucky may soon be able to add its name to the list of nine states where farmers can legally grow industrial hemp -- that is, if Dem State Sen. Joey Pendelton has anything to say about it.

Pendelton has introduced a bill to reauthorize hemp farming in the Bluegrass State. Pendelton's bill would work similar to that of North Dakota, where hemp farmers have to be licensed by the the state's agricultural department.

"The timing is right," Pendelton told the Lexington Herald-Leader. Pendelton is planning to take a group of local farmers on a trip to Canada, where hemp farming was re-legalized in 1998, to study the booming trade in industrial hemp.

Whether Kentucky lawmakers would approve the measure is one thing – Kentucky already allows for hemp research, but a similar measure filed last year didn't even receive a committee hearing, reports the H-L – whether the feds (read, Drug Enforcement Administration, which insists that hemp is dope) will finally back off and allow states to embrace environmentally friendly crop is another issue altogether.

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