Senate committee approves hemp legislation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill to re-establish industrial hemp in Kentucky if the versatile crop gets a federal pardon has won approval from a state Senate committee.

The Senate Agriculture Committee advanced the bill on Monday after hearing from a lineup of hemp supporters that included U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie. Paul said that legalizing hemp has the potential to create jobs processing the crop into a variety of products.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer raised concerns about a comeback for hemp including the difficulty for law enforcement in distinguishing between hemp and marijuana.

Hemp production is banned in the U.S. because the plant is related to marijuana.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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