Senate committee votes unanimously to support legalized hemp in Kentucky

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Senate Committee on Agriculture met in Frankfort Monday and unanimously voted to approve Senate Bill 50.

The Bill would license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp if federal restrictions are lifted.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner, Rodney Brewer expressed his concerns with legalizing hemp.

"We've heard that you can't get high off of hemp. You can get high off of hemp," says Brewer.

Brewer says hemp is very similar to marijuana. He believes legalizing it would lead to more crime throughout the commonwealth.

"In Kentucky last year we eradicated $441,000 illegal marijuana plants and arrested 524 people for cultivating marijuana," says Brewer.

Supporters of hemp feel confident the crops will be closely regulated. Many believe allowing it will help put Kentuckians back to work.

"I don't think it's going to replace corn. And I'm not up here saying that next year everybody is going to work for a hemp farm. But why not legalize something that could produce jobs? And probably will," says U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Senator Paul believes this is Kentucky's opportunity to be a leader, "It's not very often you get a brand new agricultural product. So we're going to work hard, we're not done yet. But, I'm going to ask the President if we can pass this, for a waiver, so that Kentucky can be a leader in growing hemp."

Despite the decision in Frankfort, it will now be up to leaders in Washington to make the final decision.

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