Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director April 5, 2013

    On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

    House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

    After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “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.”

    Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

    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 currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.

    33 responses to “Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature”

    1. Roy says:

      ” Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants”

      That’s because THC plants will become pollinated by the hemp plants making even the strongest THC plants the same as hemp, Zero THC. Even if the THC plants are miles away.

    2. TheOracle says:

      Link the Farm Bureaux of the 9 states that have legalized industrial hemp if they’re not already. Together they should put pressure to bear on D.C.

      Meanwhile,Pennsylvania’s SB528 Regulate Marijuana Act has been assigned to committee. Hopefully, Senator McIlhinney, majority chairman, the one who decides whether or not our bill will ever get a hearing or a vote (or languish in political oblivion) will be swayed by the dire financial straits of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and allow the legislation to progress. The legislature should note well the dire need for revenue and savings, and fashion and orchestrate the passing of it, and this definitely means making sure there are enough votes for it to pass without Governor Corbett’s signature.

    3. johny d says:

      hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government…………..really. Ummmmmm….meanwhile,the federal government taxes alcohol and tobacco to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars annually…..hip hip Hooray! Barry Obama is a liar,Barry Obama is a liar,Barry Obama is a liar….

    4. bobwv says:

      Too early to order a 4-wheeler setup for methinol ?

    5. JohneyHempseed says:

      Marijuana when fully legal will be big but Industrial Hemp will be even BIGGER!

    6. dk says:

      It would seem that for hemp purposes, the plants would be planted close together because you are using the stem of the plant, but for smoking, the plants would be planted further apart. If that’s the case, identifying plants intended for smoking would seem easy. This all seems like they don’t like it but can’t remember why.

    7. Anonymous says:


      I agree fully. One can’t help but wonder just how pervasive this kind of ignorance is in politics in general.

    8. Galileo Galilei says:


      The hemp spores will pollinate the marijuana girls. The girls will then put energy into developing the seeds instead of putting out more resin to capture any more spores floating by. The resin is what imparts the ‘high’, so the germination degrades the quality of the bud, ie the bud’s not as good, so it’s worth less.

      Any seeds produced will be unusable as seed stock, because their genetics are now a cross between the weed and the hemp.

    9. chris says:

      Just curious, since cannabis is becomming more and more on the medical side of living, has there been any studies on the effects of hemp pollen inhalation? Just curious if it will turn out to be another allergy or something that has been missing out of human lives for the past 50+ years…..

      As always
      thanks for reading

    10. Teresa B says:

      @ johny d – I’m pretty sure marijuana and hemp have been illegal in the US for longer than the Obama presidency. :l