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Comer Says Farmers Will Have 1st Crop In Spring '14

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Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Thursday he will send a letter co-signed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, informing the Department of Justice that Kentucky plans to move forward with the regulation and cultivation of hemp.

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission approved the drafting of the letter during a meeting Thursday hosted at the Kentucky Department of AgriculturThe letter will allow the DOJ to voice any objections to the move before further action is taken, Comer said after the meeting.

"We're serious about it," he said. "We're in a race with many other states now. When we began this race a year ago, we were one of the few participants in the race. Now, at least half the states are trying to do some type of legislation to be in the mix for the industrial hemp industry."

Hemp is related to marijuana; both contain the chemical that gives marijuana users a high — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — but the trace amounts in hemp aren't enough to produce a high.

Though there were no votes against the measure. Maj. Anthony Terry of the Kentucky State Police said he did not vote and would like clarification on the DOJ memo before any changes are made to Kentucky's approach to hemp.

KSP is also waiting on an opinion from the Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway on the issue.
Comer said he hasn't had any communication with the attorney general's office about hemp but said he hopes Conway considerd the issue fairly.

He said he believes farmers in Kentucky will be able to grow hemp by next year. The cultivation cycle of hemp means that might happen by April.

Last year — when Comer's push for hemp legislation was in its early stages — he didn't expect such a quick result.

"I honestly thought it would be a two-to-five year journey, but we've made a lot of progress in a short period of time," Comer said.

The commission also voted to ask the state Department of Agriculture to start drafting regulations for hemp cultivation during the meeting.

The agency's contract attorney Luke Morgan told commission members that federal documents — including a DOJ ruling in August stating it will honor state laws regulating marijuana sales provided strong regulations are in place — allow the state to move forward with the implementation of Kentucky Senate Bill 50.

SB 50, which passed in 2013, sets up a framework for the growth of hemp.

However, Morgan advised that every opportunity should be given for federal authorities to voice objections.

Farmers shouldn't start growing hemp until they have a contract to sell it, which makes it important to get hemp processors set up, Comer said.

He told commission members Thursday that his office regularly receives calls from businesses interested in the potential of industrial hemp.

Hemp Commission Chairman Brian Furnish said he isn't disheartened that hemp seeds haven't yet been sown in Kentucky.

"The way I look at it is, I want our industry to move smoothly forward and not get a black eye at the beginning of this process," he said.

In order to have a successful emerging hemp industry and to bring relating businesses into Kentucky, it's important not to have negativity surrounding the industry's development, Furnish said.

During the meeting, Comer also gave a favorable report of a briefing he had with congressional staffers in Washington, D.C., earlier in the week about hemp legislation.

After the meeting, Comer said the creation of a hemp industry has bipartisan and public support.

"All the polls show that people understand the difference between industrial hemp and its evil cousin," he said.

While hemp won't replace major crops such as tobacco, Comer said he sees it as another tool for farmers, particularly on marginal land in eastern Kentucky.

Hemp also has potential as a source of manufacturing jobs as it is processed, he said.

"We need to be serious about rural economic development in Kentucky, and I think that processing and manufacturing hemp is a viable option for our rural communities," Comer said.

Also up for discussion during the meeting were potential changes needed to SB 50 that would need approval from the General Assembly during the 2014 session. Morgan is set to compile a proposal on potential changes for commission consideration.e in Frankfort.


News Hawk- Truth Seeker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: bgdailynews.com
Author: Katie Brandenburg
Contact: Contact Us - Bowling Green Daily News: Site
Website: Comer says Farmers will have 1st crop in spring '14 - Bowling Green Daily News: Local News

Stoned Redneck

Well-Known Member
Well its about time.Last night I was reading a story in a February 1938 Popular Science page 238 Titled "New Billion Dollar Crop" and guess what it is?? Sure, good old hemp.It talked about all the good things that can be done with it but...........there was a short note in the story about how the female plant contains ,You guessed it, Marijuana a Narcotic...and how its impossible to grow hemp without producing the Narcotic.... Sure....It went on to say that Federal regulations were being drawn up to get all the hemp farmers registered...hmmm what happened to that ?? Propaganda, Thats what... and it took all these years to see through the lying and deseption... Anyway Lets hope n pray they get it right this time....We could sure use some more good honest work in our country.. so if you have a chance ,look it up,some good reading..Happy Hemping, Red.....
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