Ky Ag Commissioner Gives Farmers Green Light To Grow Hemp

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 9/12/2013 6:12 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he hopes Kentucky farmers plant hemp in April.

"We used to grow tobacco on the farm and now basically we just have cattle and grow hay, and it just seems like a good alternative crop," said Steven Albert, a farmer from Green County. 

Albert came to a Hemp Commission meeting to learn more. 

The state legalized industrialized hemp if federal law would allow it.

Well, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not prosecute the two states that legalized marijuana.  Furthermore, Comer says the man who wrote the memo testified the government would not prosecute hemp farmers.

Comer says this gives Kentucky the green light.

"This is a very exciting first step, and we'll just have to see.  History will decide whether this was a defining moment in Kentucky agriculture, or not," said Comer.

He and Senator Rand Paul plan to send the DOJ a letter announcing the state's intent to move forward.

"I can't imagine why they would be opposed to it," said Comer.

Things are moving quickly, but farmers like Albert need to learn how to grow hemp.

"Farmers in Green County know how to grow tobacco, tomatoes, anything you can think of, but when I ask them how do you grow hemp?  How do you harvest hemp?  Most of them say they don't know," said Albert.

The state needs to work out some regulatory issues before anybody puts seeds in the ground.
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