Industrial Hemp

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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3:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky.

The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

Many of the state’s federal lawmakers support the issue as well, including Congressmen Andy Barr, John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie and Senator Rand Paul.

A bill to legalize hemp was filed in the Kentucky Senate Friday by the  agriculture committee chair.

12:00 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Gov. Steve Beshear: Law Enforcement Issues with Hemp Must Be Worked Out

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Before he joins the call for legalized industrial hemp, Gov. Steve Beshear wants law enforcement officials to resolve their concerns about the issue.

The issue: Some Kentucky officials believe legalized industrial hemp would be good for Kentucky's economy, but law enforcement officials are concerned that such a move would conflict with efforts to crack down on marijuana growers.

“I think we’re going to have to answer those questions before we can really move forward in the industrial hemp area,” Beshear said.

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8:05 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Hemp Industry Won't Grow Overnight, Agriculture Economists Say

Hemp grown in Great Britain.
Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

As Kentucky and federal lawmakers consider legalizing industrial hemp, the chair of the University of Kentucky's agriculture economics department notes that such an industry won't rise overnight.

It's a matter of economic viability. The main question being: With corn, soybeans and other crops selling at record high levels, what would entice farmers to switch to hemp instead?

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2:43 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Hemp Commission Will Work on Proposal, Economic Impact Study

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Credit File photo

The second meeting of the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission will soon begin sorting through the details of its efforts to bring legalized hemp to Kentucky.

The commission will work on the details of a new legislative bill proposal, such what the bill will include and which legisators will sponsor it during the 2013 session, said the chairman, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

Comer says another detail will be to pick a state university to commission a new economic study of legalizing industrial hemp in Kentucky.

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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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12:50 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky State Police Not OK with Legalized Pot

Credit Wikipedia Commons

This month, voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize marijuana in their states. And this week, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police told his state’s lawmakers that he supports legalizing and regulating marijuana.

The traditionally hard-line stance American officials have held against marijuana is relaxing in some places -- but don't expect Kentucky law enforcement to follow along.

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8:00 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Comer: Marijuana Votes in Other States Bolster Kentucky Hemp Efforts

Credit File photo

The push for hemp in Kentucky is getting a bump from other states' efforts to legalize the plant's unsavory cousin, a Kentucky official said.

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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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