Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Touts Pro-Hemp Message
Ag Commissioner Pushes Industrial Hemp Bill at Lexington Forum
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, James Cormer has been a strong advocate for removing the restrictions on growing industrial hemp – and in the New Year he continues to tout his pro-hemp message at the Lexington Forum.
While many states have passes pro-hemp legislation, they are overridden by federal drug policy that classifies hemp under psychoactive drugs like Marijuana. Interestingly enough, in the 19th century Kentucky was the nation’s leading hemp producer.
Some of the main arguments in favor of the bill are that farmers would have to be licenced in order to grow industrial hemp and they would be subject to regular inspections by federal officials. If passed, hemp would be another crop that farmers could profit from and would ultimately spur manufacturing jobs for products using hemp.
Growing industrial hemp has a lot of appeal, as it is an annual crop that is easy to grow and relatively inexpensive. The input costs are low, as hemp requires very little fertilizer or insecticides and it grows best in marginal soils.
If the bill passes in the state legislature, more attempts will be made to try and get hemp reclassified at the federal level. Sen. Rand Paul has also been a staunch advocate for industrial hemp and has made several appearances with Comer in recent months. The U.S. is the only industrial country in the world that doesn’t allow industrial hemp to be grown.