Hemp association urges continuation of pilot program

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) has delivered to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), a position paper from its membership regarding the effect of interim regulations proposed by the USDA and FDA on the emerging hemp industry. KYHIA is urging Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles to consider maintaining the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program as-is until the USDA and FDA requirements clarified.

“The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association is very close to our membership, with boots on the ground all over the state,” said KYHIA President Mitchell “Tate” Hall. “Everyone broadly supports the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program and the efforts of the KDA, as we attempt to build hemp as a predictable, new industry. For that reason, we are releasing a position statement from our board and our members about the difficult problems presented by the interim USDA and FDA requirements. The position statement outlines specific concerns and requests that the KDA continue the current and successful Hemp Pilot Program until these issues are resolved.”

At issue are THC compliance testing processes, the 15-day period between sampling and harvest, access to hemp genetics, restrictions on certain deliverable materials, and the effect of the overall interim regulation on an emerging industry.

Hall has been in the hemp industry since 2016, doing business in Kentucky and the southeast United States. He points to growing pains in the hemp industry after 2019 and maintains that farmers are in need of certainty in 2020 if there is to be continued momentum.

Jana Groda, KYHIA vice president, is the owner/operator of One Love Hemp Dispensary and Distributing in Louisville, Ky. According to Groda, “Kentucky, through the innovative efforts of the KDA, has always taken a leadership role in the resurgence of hemp. Maintaining the pilot program while these issues are addressed will help stabilize Kentucky’s hemp program, give the farmers some certainty and promote much needed rural economic development. We look forward to working with Commissioner Quarles on these issues.”

The KYHIA delivered its position paper to Commissioner Quarles Tuesday as talks are ongoing about the 2020 program in Kentucky. A copy of the paper can be found here.

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