Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DEA Releases Kentucky Hemp Seeds

UPDATE, May 17: Comer caves, agrees to file permit in hopes of getting seeds quickly.

UPDATE, May 15: Nope, the DEA has not gone soft and Comer does not have the juice. He's suing the Justice Department like any other frustrated repug.

Either Jaime Comer has more juice than anybody realized, or the DEA is getting soft.

Janet Patton at the Herald:

After a day of back-and-forth wrangling with Washington, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will get its hemp seeds.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said late Tuesday that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has agreed to issue an import permit to the Agriculture Department and by the end of the week release 250 pounds of Italian hemp seeds being held by the U.S. Customs Service in Louisville.


The department and seven universities across the state are planning to plant hemp for research projects this year. To do that, the seed needs to be in the ground by June 1.

This would be the first time in decades that hemp, which was once a top Kentucky crop, is cultivated in the state.
Hemp is back in Kentucky.  The battle now moves to the rule-writing committees, to ensure small farmers are not cut out of the industrial hemp windfall.

Meanwhile, as more states move to legalize marijuana, will legal industrial hemp encourage or hinder that effort in Kentucky?  Right now, a lot of people are making a lot of money growing marijuana illegally here.  Nobody's making money growing industrial hemp - yet.

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