The argument over whether Kentucky farmers can begin growing hemp — as soon as next year — got hotter on Wednesday with Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway issuing a written opinion that the crop is still illegal, and farmers who grow it could be prosecuted.Full disclosure: My father actually grew hemp legally in Kentucky when he was a young man.
Anyone who intentionally grows the crop “will expose themselves to potential criminal liability and the possible seizure of property,” Conway’s opinion said.
That prompted a challenge from state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer’s office, suggesting that neither the federal or state government would charge growers.
“The law is that industrial hemp is legal in Kentucky. If the feds aren’t going to prosecute industrial hemp, surely the attorney general of Kentucky isn’t going to move forward with prosecuting hemp farmers,” said Holly VonLuehrte, Comer’s general counsel and spokeswoman.
Hemp leaves appear identical to marijuana, but hemp is grown for the fiber in its stalks and has only a tiny amount of THC, the intoxicating chemical in pot.
Comer, an advocate for hemp, and the Kentucky Hemp Commission, which Comer revived last year to suggest hemp policy, contend the U.S. Justice Department’s recent stance easing enforcement of marijuana laws along with the state’s new hemp law, means the plant can be grown legally in the state.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Interesting: KY GOP Ag Commissioner fighting Demo Attorney General over hemp production. Very Interesting: GOP Ag Commissioner supports growing hemp...
KY hemp wars...