Kentucky moving to a commercial hemp program state

Industrial Hemp, UK Industrial Hemp Research Farm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will use this year to transition from a hemp research pilot program to a commercial hemp program.

Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles made the announcement Tuesday.

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He says the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, was a great move for growers and businesses.

In October, the United States Department of Agriculture published an Interim Final Rule, which gave states an option to operate programs under the state pilot provision of the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2020 growing year.

Quarles says Kentucky will operate its program for the 2020 growing year under the 2014 provision and use the extension to continue discussions with key stakeholders and the USDA.

“After much discussion with industry stakeholders in Kentucky, I determined our state will operate our current hemp program for another year as we responsibly make plans to take Kentucky’s hemp industry into the next phase in 2021 and beyond,” Quarles says.

The window to apply to grow hemp in Kentucky is open until March 15, 2020 and is available online at

Processor applications are available there as well and will be accepted year-round.