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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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."

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4:03 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Yarmuth Joins Supporters of Legalization of Industrial Hemp

Rep. John Yarmuth and Sen. Rand Paul. Both support the legalization of industrial hemp.
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.

They want legalization to take advantage of the many goods that hemp can produce to create jobs.

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9:38 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Will U.S. Try To Snuff Out State Marijuana Laws?

A worker inspects a marijuana plant at a grow house in Denver on Nov. 8.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:54 pm

The Justice Department has a big decision to make.

Parts of new laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana will take effect early next month. The Obama administration needs to choose whether it will sue to stop the legislation or let those states go their own way — even though the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says the message he got from voters is unambiguous.

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3:45 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Hemp Commission Will Craft New Bill; Comer Confident It Will Pass in 2013

James Comer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner
Credit File photo

State Agriculture Commission James Comer -- a leading advocate for industrial hemp in 

Kentucky -- said growing support will help their initiative in the next legislative session.

The Industrial Hemp Commission, for which Comer is chairman, held its first meeting in a decade on Wednesday.

The commission will work for the next few weeks on crafting -- and the commission will then lobby Kentucky lawmakers to pass it. Comer, who has helped lobby for previous industrial hemp bills, said the commission's proposals will differ from past bills.

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11:55 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Long Dormant Kentucky Hemp Commission Will Be Revived

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he is restarting the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission.

The General Assembly created the commission ten years ago to look into hemp's potential in the commonwealth, but it has never met. This morning, Comer announced that he is reforming the commission and, per state law, he will be the chairman.

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