Federal Govt. and Kentucky Settle Hemp Dispute

Federal Government and State of Kentucky Settle Hemp Dispute

Great news for hemp farmers in the Bluegrass State! The Kentucky Department of Agriculture filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit it brought against the federal government in May for the right to legally import hemp seeds. The federal government and the State of Kentucky have formally agreed to a formal, legal process for hemp seed imports into the state. 

From the Southeast Farm Press:

The department filed suit in U.S. District Court against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Justice, and Attorney General Eric Holder after seeds ticketed for research projects in Kentucky were held by Customs in Louisville at the direction of the DEA. The seeds were released in late May and distributed to universities and private farmers conducting pilot projects under the direction of the KDA.

States with laws permitting industrial hemp farming were given the opportunity to implement their state hemp agriculture laws once the Agricultural Act of 2014 — commonly known as the Farm Bill — was passed earlier this year. Kentucky was world-famous for its hemp for centuries, boasting regular annual harvests of over 40,000 tons. When the Marihuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, hemp agriculture was officially prohibited in the United States. The outlawing of hemp dealt a significant blow to Kentucky’s economy. 

“This year has been a test not only of our farmers’ ability to grow hemp — which was never in doubt — but of the process needed to regulate hemp production,” Comer said. “Now that we almost have the first year behind us, and we have a formal process in place for KDA to import the seeds, supervise the cultivation of hemp, and market the products, I hope we will have many more growers and projects next year, and we can make sure Kentucky is first in line when hemp production becomes fully legal in the United States.”

Read more at SoutheastFarmPress.com

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