Confusion Mounts On Industrial Hemp’s Legal Status In Kentucky

In August, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a ruling that would honor state laws to regulate small-scale marijuana sales in states, notably Washington and Colorado, where legislation has already been passed.

With the DOJ having done so, industrial hemp should also be allowed, said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

He said that if the federal government would make allowances for marijuana, how could it not do the same for industrial hemp?

Legislation passed during the last General Assembly session has created an administrative framework (Senate Bill 50) regulating the growing of the crop — if a federal statute prohibiting it were lifted. Coupled with the recent DOJ ruling, that has prompted the Kentucky Hemp Commission (KHC) to take action. The commission voted in favor of having Comer and Sen. Rand Paul draft a letter to the DOJ, informing the agency of SB 50 and the intention to move forward in implementing that law by beginning the regulation and licensing process, so state farmers who want to raise the crop could be doing so by this spring.

But just when supporters of industrial hemp thought a spring planting season was on the horizon, another obstacle has popped up, this time from Kentucky’s Attorney General (AG).

In response to concerns voiced from “various stakeholders, including law enforcement officials throughout the state, members of the General Assembly and members of the public,” Attorney General Jack Conway sent an advisory letter last month to Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer, issuing his understanding of state and federal law as it pertains to growing hemp and the KHC’s decision to move forward with the process of registering farmers who want to grow it.

– Read the entire article at Business Lexicon.



  1. Roberto on

    Farmers in Colorado didn’t wait for permission from their DC overlords. And now this harvest is over. Expect a lot more acres next year.