Local/Regional News
4:07 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Conway: Growing Hemp Would Violate Federal Law

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Attorney General Jack Conway is advising Kentucky leaders that industrial hemp farming remains illegal in Kentucky.

Conway issued an advisory letter on Wednesday to Gov. Steve Beshear, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and others to clarify current law related to hemp. The letter deflates hopes of hemp farming proponents who have said they'd like to begin planting next year.

Kentucky lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow farmers to grow the crop if the federal government ever lifts a longstanding ban. Conway said that ban remains firmly in place.

Comer released a statement Wednesday, saying, "Jack Conway is wrong to threaten to prosecute farmers. Hemp is legal in Kentucky, and the federal government has made it clear that it is not going to prosecute farmers for growing hemp. It makes no sense that Attorney General Conway would throw up an unnecessary government obstacle to an industry that has the potential to create jobs and revenue for Kentucky.”

Hemp once thrived in Kentucky but hasn't been produced here since the federal government classified it as a controlled substance decades ago.

Update: According to Bluegrass Politics, Governor Steve Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo say they agree with Attorney General Conway's hemp opinion.