Ag Commissioner Candidates, KSP Disagree on Hemp

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Several candidates for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner have suggested that industrial hemp could be a major cash crop for the Commonwealth. But as Kentucky Public Radio's Gabe Bullard reports, that puts the candidates at odds with the Kentucky State Police.

Industrial hemp can be used to make various textiles, fibers, papers and cosmetics. But it's also similar in appearance to its cousin, marijuana.

Lieutenant David Jude with the Kentucky State Police says that would create problems for law enforcement, since growers could sneak marijuana into fields of hemp.

"Obviously we're going to support the law. We're going to work within the laws to make sure people are in compliance with it. However, it's not to that point yet and as of right now the state police are against it for those reasons. It's just going to create a lot of issues for us on the enforcement side."

Jude says industrial hemp would need to be regulated to prevent any malfeasance. The KSP does not currently support expanded hemp growth.