Farmers who plant industrial hemp in Kentucky soil risk prosecution regardless of a U.S. Department of Justice memo on federal marijuana enforcement issued earlier this year, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said Wednesday.
Regardless, the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission will continue its effort to launch a hemp-licensing program, said Holly Harris, chief of staff for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
In an advisory opinion to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer, Conway said hemp remains an illegal substance by federal law. Although the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 50 to set up a regulatory framework for industrial hemp farming, Conway said state law identifies hemp as a cannabis plant with a federally established concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in hemp’s botanical cousin marijuana.
The problem, Conway said, is the federal government has not set such a tetrahydrocannabinol level and still bans hemp in the Controlled Substances Act.
“We do not have either a change in the Controlled Substances Act to exempt industrial hemp, nor do we have a federal waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration,” Conway told reporters on a conference call.
Comer criticized Conway’s opinion, saying the attorney general “is wrong to threaten to prosecute farmers.”
– Read the entire article at The State Journal.