Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are lauding the Kentucky General Assembly for passing legislation to allow a regulatory framework for industrial hemp.
The so-called hemp bill was approved by state lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session, and allows licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission should the federal government legalize the crop.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer led the initiative, and told Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston state officials are working with the federal delegation to get a federal waiver.
McConnell and Paul both said Wednesday they will work to get the crop legalized for Kentucky farmers to grow.
From McConnell’s office:
I applaud Commissioner James Comer for his leadership on the issue and the Kentucky General Assembly for passing the legislation which has the potential to provide an economic boost to Kentucky, create jobs and allow Kentucky farmers to harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide.
I will continue to work with Senator Paul on a federal approach that would enable Kentucky farmers to cultivate and profit from industrial hemp in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use.”
From Paul’s office:
“I commend the Kentucky General Assembly for final passage of Senate Bill 50. I want to thank Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Paul Hornback and the members of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission for their leadership and hard work in passing this legislation.”
“Senate Bill 50 is an important step forward in the reintroduction of industrial hemp in Kentucky. I have pledged, along with Rep. John Yarmuth, to seek a waiver when a regulatory framework is in place. I will follow through on that pledge and I hope that Kentucky will soon start growing hemp, creating jobs and leading the nation in this industry again.”