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Comer creating industrial hemp pilot projects

Attorney General provides legal guidance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2014) — Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced Friday that he is creating industrial hemp pilot projects in Kentucky. The pilot projects were made possible by the passage of the United States Farm Bill that was signed into law by the President on Feb. 7.

Hemp is grown for its seeds, oil and fiber. (Photo courtesy of Vote Hemp)
Hemp is grown for its seeds, oil and fiber. (Photo courtesy of Vote Hemp)

Comer and Attorney General Jack Conway have been in direct communication for a couple of months regarding hemp production in Kentucky, and senior staff in both of their offices are reviewing language for pilot programs that ensure compliance with the parameters outlined in the federal farm bill.

“I appreciate Commissioner Comer working with the Office of the Attorney General as he implements the pilot projects in Kentucky,” Conway said.

Comer asked Conway to contact federal border patrol entities on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to make certain hemp seeds for the pilot project are legally imported for the purposes outlined in the farm bill. Conway also pledged to work with Comer to help pursue a federal waiver from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that would allow for the expansion of industrial hemp production for commercial purposes.

“I appreciate Commissioner Comer understanding the concerns of law enforcement officers and ensuring that any future expansion would address their concerns,” Conway said.

Comer hopes to provide more details on the pilot projects at an event in Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 17 and said the projects will be located in diverse areas of the commonwealth with unique research focuses and different university affiliations.

“The cooperation between agriculture and law enforcement is a critical element of moving this industry forward,” Comer said. to this new market for Kentucky farmers.”