Commissioners plan to move forward with hemp production

By: Whitney Wetzel Email
By: Whitney Wetzel Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky is moving forward with plans to produce a controversial crop.

Kentucky's legislature passed Senate Bill 50 earlier this year, legalizing the production of hemp. That law has been in limbo, as it's still technically illegal according to federal law.

But last month, the Department of Justice announced it would defer its right to challenge marijuana legalization laws in both Colorado and Washington. Commissioners here say that ruling opened the door for hemp production here in Kentucky.

Hemp can be used to produce many items from clothing, automobile parts and oil to seeds and milk. Advocates of its production say it's an industry that could bring new jobs to the Bluegrass.

"That's our first goal, to get the crop established. Then, once companies and industries see that we have a crop here established and growing, we believe industries will start coming here looking for it instead of importing it from other countries," said Brian Furnish, Chairman of the Industrial Hemp Commission.

The commission unanimously passed the idea to move forward with industrialized hemp production. They plan to begin producing hemp within the next year.

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