Ag. commissioner pushes hemp at Lexington Forum

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer spoke to a crowded room at Thursday's Lexington Forum continuing his push for industrial hemp here in Kentucky. He says it's something this year's General Assembly must act on.

Comer says hemp would be a cheap crop for farmers to grow and would create jobs across the state. Comer says other states are working on similar legislation and Kentucky could lose its opportutnity to cash in if others legalize it first. State police are opposed to the idea, saying it's impossible for them to visually distinguish hemp from marijuana. They say they would have to do a chemical analysis on any suspected marijuana plant and that would create a backlog in their system. Comer disagrees.

"I can tell you a majority of the sheriffs in the state support this. Most of the sheriffs, especially the ones from the rural counties, have farm backgrounds. They know the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. They can tell the difference. They know the drug problem in Kentucky is prescription drug abuse and meth," said Comer.

After the Lexington Forum discussion, Comer went to a meeting with State Senator Kathy Stein as he worked to gain support across the state.

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