Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director March 27, 2013

    hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

    The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

    Senate Bill 50 “establishes conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designates the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

    The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

    Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

    Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

    Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill,” but has not stated publicly whether he intends to veto the measure.

    If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

    30 Responses to “Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation”

    1. turdgoblin says:

      baby steps to national legalization. wahoo! it’s very strange how as soon as i stopped smoking (in december for job searching) the legal momentum has really picked up, just wish the south would wake up.

    2. Dug Naper says:

      Well… I said it then, and I’ll say it now, Kentucky is not as backwards as you all think. Times are changing.

      Kentucky Dug.

    3. Tendofreak says:

      GOOD! About time some sense comes to this chaos! Way to go State Power! Our federal govt is a shambles and the only way to make progress is through the states. One step at a time. Best make it a trot though. Gettin a lil long in tha teeth and cant wait forever. I make sure to email some representative everyday to tell them my thoughts on this stupid “war on drugs” and legalization of MJ.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.

      MR. OBAMA, tear down this wall.

    5. Warren Osborn says:

      He’s just another fascist pig who got it in his head he has the right to make decisions for everyone. Personally, I for one, realize that much good can be obtained from hemp, especially reducing the use of wood and oil based plastic.

    6. Clay says:

      This doesn’t really apply to this blog, but I didn’t have anywhere to vent so here goes…A house in my neighborhood(Texas)was busted for an illegal grow today. There were 2 local news teams posted up outside. They were interviewing folks about the person that lived there and so I thought I would offer up my 2 cents. When I said that Cannabis should be legal so these guys didn’t have to ruin residential properties and could just set up shop in a warehouse the reporter stopped the interview and told me that I really didn’t meet his agenda, but thanks. WTF?

    7. progress says:

      baby steps is ok. at least we’re making progress. this is where the money can be made. (besides smoking) this plant has the most uses out of anything natural.

    8. Guard1an says:

      WOW! I almost feel like watching that Gub prop film “HEMP FOR VICTORY!” Just another crack in the dam. Congrats on moving this far Kentucky! Maybe, just maybe we can stop the nonsense of ethanol made from corn. One can only hope for sanity.

    9. Cleveland Green says:

      So the bill gets voted on and passes thanks to public pressure
      But the police oppose it.
      Whose running this state anyway.??
      The People or the civil military??

    10. Tanman says:


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