Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seeds of Kentucky's New Economy Planted at UK

They're not our native hemp, which still grows wild in every fence row, so the question is whether these furrin varieties can stand up to Kentucky's sometimes vicious growing season.

But they're finally in the ground.

Janet Patton at the Herald:

For the first time in decades, hemp, a crop once demonized as marijuana (SIC!), has been planted in Central Kentucky, regaining an economic toehold that state agriculture officials hope can expand into a lucrative industry.

Although the crop was a vital one for the region through World War II, this was the first time hemp has been legally planted in the Bluegrass since the 1970s. 
 On Tuesday, University of Kentucky researchers sowed a small plot of 13 varieties of hemp seeds, released last week by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration after legal wrangling.
No, Janet: hemp is not marijuana. Never has been. Never will be.  A generation of Kentucky kids who tried smoking hemp are proof.

Eventually, legalized marijuana will bring many benefits, if only from the end of the War on (some classes of some people who use some) Drugs, but industrial hemp could be the economic engine that finally kills Big Coal.

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