This past Thursday (January 19, 2012) Kentucky lawmakers filed House Bill 286, a bill to introduce hemp farming in Kentucky. 12 Kentucky House members signed HB 286, although they are aware that the federal government bans production of hemp.
In 1775 settlers from Virginia brought hemp into Kentucky and started growing it; hemp grew so well there that Kentucky became one of the most prolific growing states for hemp.
In July of 1998 a paper was written, titled Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky, which goes into great detail about the feasibility of growing hemp again in Kentucky.
Currently, 29 states have introduced hemp legislation; 17 have passed the legislation; 9 have removed barriers to production or research (Vote Hemp).
Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner, James Comer, is part of the drive to bring industrial hemp farming back to Kentucky. If the bill is approved, Comer will petition the federal government for permits to grow the hemp. Allowing hemp farming in Kentucky would help the state’s declining agriculture economy.
“It sends a message that this is something that we’re serious about in Kentucky,” Comer said.