Feds release hemp seeds to Kentucky officials

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A nearly 300-pound shipment of hemp seeds detained by federal officials for two weeks has been delivered to Kentucky's Agriculture Department.

The seeds that spurred a legal fight are expected to be planted in Kentucky soil in the coming days for research projects.

The seed from Italy arrived on a UPS truck Friday at the department's office in Frankfort.

The seeds were sprung from confinement after federal drug officials approved a permit Thursday, ending the standoff. The state agriculture department sued the federal government after the shipment was stopped by U.S. Customs in Louisville earlier this month.

"I think Kentucky is leading the nation right now in hemp production and so we look forward to maintaining that lead and developing the research that our producers need," said Industrial Hemp Coordinator Adam Watson. "We have been contacted by other states that are interested in how we're doing it so we have taken the lead on this."

The University of Kentucky will plant their seeds Tuesday afternoon.

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