House lays groundwork for growing industrial hemp

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky House has approved a bill that would allow Kentucky to quickly license hemp growers if the federal government ever lifts a ban on the crop.

The measure passed the House 88-4 in the final hour of the 2013 legislative session. It now goes to the Senate where it is expected to receive final passage.

House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins said intense negotiations resulted in a compromise that involves the state's universities and the state police in hemp research and hemp licensing.

Hemp thrived as a crop in Kentucky generations ago but has been banned for decades by the federal government since it was classified as a controlled substance. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer believes hemp could be an important crop for Kentucky farmers again.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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