With congressional passage of the Farm Bill likely this week, hemp could come to Kentucky as early as this year.
Sen. Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he had added language to the bill universities and state departments to conduct research on hemp. State Agricultural Commissioner Jamie Comer says, if passed, the Bluegrass could be seeing its first hemp crop in decades.
"We're going to try to come up with a pilot project very soon, but we're very excited. This shows that you can pass legislation on the state and federal level. This is something a year ago no one thought would ever get through the Frankfort General Assembly and now we've passed it through Congress. I think our little amendment had a big part in passing the entire Farm Bill," Comer says.
Comer cautions Kentuckians shouldn’t expect to see hemp plants popping up all over the place, however. He cautions that the state would need to creating a licensing process, import seeds from Canada or China, and decide which season is best to plant.
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.