Hemp Bill Stuck In Agriculture Committee

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 2/28/2013 11:17 pm

Senate Bill 50 seems to be stuck in the Kentucky House Agriculture and Small Business Committee and some say it may never move forward to the House.

The bill passed in the Senate, 31 – 6, earlier this month. If approved, it would allow farmers in Kentucky to grow hemp if the Federal Government legalizes the crop.

House Agricultural Commissioner Tom McKee refused to allow a vote to be called on Senate Bill 50 in the committee.

“There were the votes to pass the bill,” Rockcastle County Farmer Mike Lewis said, “And one person stopped that vote for whatever his reason was.”

McKee said he want to he wants to set up two five acre experimental hemp fields at the University of Kentucky instead.

“I think committee members would have to understand if they vote no on the committee sub, then that might be there opportunity to vote for a hemp bill,” McKee said.

Agricultural Commissioner James Comer said there’s enough support to pass the bill right now.

“He’s the one that didn't have the votes,” Comer said. “If he would have done it on his committee substitute, it would have gotten about 7 votes. Then if we would have turned around and voted on senate bill 50, which is what you're supposed to do.”

Comer said he thinks the House vote would have passed almost unanimously, and he still has hope that it gets the chance.

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