LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)- A federal judge is set to review a lawsuit by Kentucky's Agriculture Department that's aimed at forcing federal officials to release imported hemp seeds for use in pilot projects.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II has scheduled a preliminary conference Friday afternoon.
Customs officials in Louisville have detained a 250-pound shipment of seeds from Italy.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer claims the action violates the intent of the new farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow hemp growing.
Eight projects are planned across Kentucky as part of a limited reintroduction of hemp to determine the crop's potential.
Defendants in the suit include the Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.