Local/Regional News
4:59 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Ky. Ag Commissioner Reveals Five Pilot Hemp Projects

Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the reintroduction of hemp production will start with at least five pilot projects across the state.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit photo provided

The crop flourished in Kentucky until lawmakers banned it for its close ties with marijuana.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Monday he doesn't know how many hemp acres will be planted this year.

The new federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp-cultivation pilot projects for research in states that already allow the growing of hemp. Farmers will work with university researchers to study the crop.

Central Kentucky farmer Michael Lewis says the size of his hemp crop depends on the availability of seeds.

Hemp production was banned by the federal government decades ago. Hemp and marijuana are the same species. Hemp has a negligible content of the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.