FRANKFORT, KY -- State leaders, local farmers, and business owners gathered this morning to discuss the proposed bill to legalize industrial hemp.
The passage of S.B. 50 would make Kentucky the first state in the nation with a legal hemp industry. The United States is currently the only industrial national in the world that does not allow the production of hemp.
Legal hemp supporters believe that industrial hemp is an extremely versatile crop, with applications in the manufacture of automotive parts, textiles, cosmetics, and animal bedding. They argue that it would also create many jobs in the state.
The state bill is being supported at the federal level by Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massie, and is spearheaded in the Commonwealth by Agricultural Commissioner James Comer and Senate Agricultural Committee chairman Paul Hornback.
Comer addressed the state police and sheriffs' opposition to the bill, stating that most law enforcement officials can tell the difference between industrial hemp crops and marijuana crops,.
He also says there may soon be a public relations campaign, including radio ads and, possibly, a hemp fashion show in Fayette County.