For the first time in a decade, Kentucky’s industrial hemp commission will meet Wednesday.
The commission has been revived under Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, with support from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green.
They argue that industrial hemp can create jobs for Kentucky farmers, many of whom have not recovered since the tobacco buyouts years ago.
The first meeting will feature an announcement of funding for the commission — $50,000 from Paul’s political action committee, RAND PAC and $50,000 from the soap company Dr. Bronner’s.
The commission is part of Comer’s office, but this funding will pay for the panel’s staff. Vote Hemp, an advocacy group, is part of the announcement.
Not long after the hemp commission’s revival was announced, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s editorial board backed the idea of lifting the ban on hemp, saying:
Anyone who thinks that continuing to outlaw hemp is critical to reducing marijuana use should consider what’s happened in the last 50 years: Since growing hemp was made illegal, marijuana use has become so widespread and accepted that 17 states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana.
Outlawing hemp clearly has not stopped the consumption of marijuana.
It has denied farmers a possibly profitable crop.