Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer is praising the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation to allow university research on industrial hemp.
The measure came in the form of an amendment to the farm bill that passed the House. Commissioner Comer called it a “historic day,” but said he won't be satisfied until Kentucky farmers are allowed to grow industrial hemp again.
If the bill and amendment became law, it would only allow university research in states where hemp production is allowed by state law. Kentucky joined that list this year when both chambers of the General Assembly passed the industrial hemp bill. Governor Steve Beshear allowed it to become law without his signature. The state legislation only set up regulations for if the federal government were to one day release restrictions on the crop that was once grown in Kentucky.
Most Kentucky members in Congress have publicly supported legalizing industrial hemp, including Congressman Ed Whitfield and Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.