Kentucky has been one of the most progressive states in the country concerning hemp production and is looking to make Kentucky hemp a major portion of their economy. Earlier this week the Kentucky House of Representatives voted to ask congress to remove hemp from the federal Controlled Substance Act.
Hemp contains very little THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid found in abundance in hemp’s cousin, marijuana. However, hemp has many industrial applications as a textile and cannabidiol (CBD) extracts from hemp can potentially be used for pain relief. If you want to know how to grow hemp in Kentucky, there are plenty of people in the state that are well informed on the topic.
The request would be made under House Concurrent Resolution 35, sponsored by Rep. DJ Johnson, R-Owensboro, who told the House that hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis plant but is non-narcotic and legally produced on many Kentucky farms for industrial use.
Kentucky removed many hemp products from its definition of illegal substances in 2017, Johnson said. Removing hemp from the federal Controlled Substance Act “will allow Kentucky farmers and processors to take full advantage of this promising agricultural crop,” he added.
Kentucky hemp production increased from 33 acres in 2014 to 3,200 acres in 2017, according to HCR 35, with nearly 50 hemp processors now operating in the state. Johnson said production is expected to reach 4,000 to 6,000 acres with 56 processors this year.
HCR 35 passed the House by a vote of 93-2 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
If Kentucky’s senate also passes the measure it would then move onto the federal government and must be passed both by both Congress and the president. Much of the CBD products produced now come from hemp imported from overseas, when hemp is a commodity that could easily be produced in abundance here in the United Stated if prohibition ended. Kentucky hemp could be a major benefit to their struggling economy and, in truth, other states could take a page from their progressive stance on cannabis to assist their own economies. If the measure passes through congress, then the efforts of Kentucky could benefit the nation’s economy as a whole.