July 31, 2014

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Kentucky House approves hemp bill

By Janet Patton, Lexington Herald-Leader

Legislators reached a last-hour deal last Tuesday to pass a bill to license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.

The deal between House Democrats and Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, will allow hemp licensing by the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission under the control of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Who would do the licensing had been a big snag for House Democrats, who apparently buckled under public pressure.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said the bill will leave the hemp commission with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The research functions will be performed by the University of Kentucky.

The House voted 88-4 and sent the bill back to the Senate where it passed 35-1.