4:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Bill Allowing Study of Cannabis Oil Proposed in Kentucky State Senate

Julie Denton
Credit Phillip Bailey/WFPL News

A bill that would permit Kentucky universities to study and develop treatments using cannabis oil has been filed in the state Senate.

Cannabidiol is an ingredient found in the marijuana plant. It has an extremely low THC content, which means it doesn’t get its users high, and a growing body of research shows it can significantly reduce seizures, even in children with epilepsy.

State Sen. Julie Denton says that the cannabidiol found in strains of cannabis oil can save lives.

Read more
4:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Kentucky Officials Send Letter to DEA Urging Hemp Legalization

James Comer
Credit File photo

A group of Kentucky officials have sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency asking for clarity on a state law that would permit the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer drafted the letter, which was co-signed by Sen. Rand Paul and Reps. Thomas Massie and John Yarmuth, as well as Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission chairman Brian Furnish. 

Read more
7:59 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

U.S. Senator Rand Paul Shoots Down Kentucky Attorney General Opinion on Hemp Production

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., disagrees with Attorney General Jack Conway's opinion that industrial hemp farming remains illegal in Kentucky.

Earlier this year state lawmakers passed a bill allowing farmers to grow the crop if the federal government lifts a longstanding ban. 

Read more
2:30 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie's Hemp Amendment Passes House (and Then the Farm Bill Fails)

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Congress

UPDATE: The House just made Massie's amendment a moot point by rejecting the farm bill in a 234-195 bipartisan vote.

Earlier: Colleges and universities would be allowed to grow hemp for academic research under an amendment to the farm bill approved by a bipartisan vote in the House on Thursday.

The proposal was introduced by Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie along with Democrats Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado, and passed by a 225-to-200 vote. It applies only to states that have authorized the crops cultivation.

A majority of Kentucky’s congressional representatives have been vocal supporters for easing federal restrictions on hemp, which is illegal to grow in the U.S. due to its genetic relation to marijuana. Opponents against the language argued the amendment will hamper law enforcement efforts because the crop is difficult to distinguish between its cannabis cousin.

But Massie says hemp is not marijuana, adding the amendment will help move the research forward to one day allow farmers to grow the crop legally.

"People think it’s about drugs but when they get done laughing about the word hemp and realize industrial hemp is not marijuana they realize it’s a jobs bill and an opportunity for Kentucky farmers," he says. "What this amendment does is it carves out a very small exception for universities to do research without running afoul of the drug laws. And I hope it’s a precursor to allowing all of the farmers in Kentucky to grow industrial hemp."

Read more
3:02 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

State Senator Perry Clark Lauds Hemp, Pot Poll Results

State Sen. Perry Clark rallies for medical marijuana bill
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, is touting a Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, which shows broad support for industrial hemp and medical marijuana.

The survey finds 65 percent of Kentuckians support hemp and 60 percent favor using the drug for prescription use. Clark filed a measure dubbed the "Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act" that would move cannabis to the list of prescription drugs to treat illnesses.

Supporters rallied for the proposal earlier this year, but it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Clark says he hopes fellow state lawmakers are paying attention to national trends and the shift in public opinion among Kentuckians.

"Clearly we’re forming a cannabis majority in this nation. You know 19 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, at least two states have gone total recreational and eight other states have passed industrial hemp," he says. "It’s time for us to think forward and realize this is not the top problem that we’re having in Kentucky."

Read more
6:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Hemp Gaining Momentum in General Assembly

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

Support is clearly growing behind Agriculture Commissioner James Comer's efforts for industrial hemp in Kentucky are growing.

Call it hempmentum.

With last week's endorsement from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Comer now has the majority of Kentucky's federal delegation behind him.

Both U.S. senators and half of the state's House members have publicly endorsed legalizing industrial hemp. They say Kentucky is well-suited to be a leader in growing hemp for fiber and oil.

Read more
1:27 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Industrial Hemp Gets New Kentucky Supporter: Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Updated: Joining his fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell now supports industrial hemp. 


In a statement released Thursday, McConnell said Paul and Comer—both Republicans, like McConnell—have convinced him that growing hemp for paper, oil and other purposes would be an economic boon for Kentucky farmers.


Read more
Local News
3:35 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Kentucky Hemp Commission Supports Senate Bill; James Comer Responds to Critics

James Comer
Credit File photo

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission threw its support Monday behind a senate bill that would, among other things, establish a licensing procedure for growers of industrial hemp should the federal government allow for it.

This comes as the director of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers' Association argued against steps toward legalizing industrial hemp, citing concerns that hemp would overwhelm state drug-testing labs.

Read more
Local News
11:45 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Kentucky Senate Ag Committee Chairman to Bring Hemp Up for Vote

Paul Hornback
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

FRANKFORT — A senate committee chairman is sounding upbeat about prospects for a bill that would regulate industrial hemp production in Kentucky if the federal government lifts its ban on the crop.

Read more
Local News
11:42 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Legalized Hemp Would Overwhelm State Drug Labs, Narcotics Officers' Association Chief Says

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

The Kentucky Narcotic Officers' Association's director says his organization is opposed to the legalization of industrial hemp because of concerns that hemp may overwhelm labs used to differentiate the plant from its cousin, marijuana.

"Every time we find somebody with marijuana, they're going to say, 'Oh, no—that's hemp,'" said Tommy Loving, the association's director. "So it'll have to go for a lab test. So the other problem there is that we're going to overwhelm the state police lab system, which is already a busy place to start with."

Read more