Search Results for: kentucky

McConnell Signs Farm Bill Conference Report With Kentucky Hemp Pen

KENTUCKY:  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that his language to legalize industrial hemp is officially included in the finalized Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). The Farm Bill Conference Report takes serious steps to ensure the future of American agriculture, and it contains the legislation — championed by Majority Leader McConnell — that would empower farmers to begin cultivating industrial hemp, a crop that can play a key role in the economic future of Kentucky and the nation.

The Farm Bill Conference Report was signed by conferees last night, including Senator McConnell who signed it with a pen made from hemp grown in Kentucky. U.S. Representative James Comer (KY-01), another Farm Bill conferee and the sponsor of Senator McConnell’s hemp provision in the House of Representatives, also signed the Farm Bill Conference Report.

Senator McConnell’s measure legalizes hemp as an agricultural commodity by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. It also gives states the opportunity to become the primary regulators of hemp production, allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and makes hemp eligible for crop insurance. This measure builds upon the hemp pilot programs, which Senator McConnell secured in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Last year alone, Kentucky hemp recorded more than $16 million in product sales through the state pilot program I previously secured, demonstrating that hemp holds great potential for the future of Kentucky agriculture,” said Senator McConnell. “My Hemp Farming Act as included in the Farm Bill will not only legalize domestic hemp, but it will also allow state departments of agriculture to be responsible for its oversight. In Kentucky, that means that Commissioner Ryan Quarles, another champion of hemp, will be able to help farmers thrive. When the Senate votes on this legislation in the coming days, we will also be voting to give farmers throughout the country the chance to tap into hemp’s potential and take part in its future.”

“When I was elected Commissioner of Agriculture, I promised to take Kentucky’s hemp program to the next level and establish our state as the epicenter of the industry in the United States,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “This Farm Bill helps achieve that goal, and demonstrates that hemp is no longer a novelty but a serious crop that will unleash economic opportunity for our farmers. We would not be here today without the unwavering support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and our congressional delegation.”

In collaboration with agriculture leaders in Kentucky and throughout the nation, Senator McConnell utilized his position as Senate Majority Leader to secure language in the 2014 Farm Bill to authorize hemp research pilot programs. He built on that success with federal legislation to ensure that hemp produced from the pilot programs could be transported, processed, and marketed. Under the guidance of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Quarles and his predecessor, now-U.S. Representative Comer, these programs have allowed Kentucky farmers to both research the plant and to demonstrate its full potential.

“Without Senator McConnell’s leadership on the 2018 Farm Bill and the Hemp Language, it would not have gotten this far. I am grateful that the Majority Leader found this issue so important that he appointed himself as a Farm Bill conferee to ensure his bill to legalize hemp will become a reality. As a Kentucky hemp farmer and processor, it is very important to me that Congress passes this bill and sends it to the President’s desk,” said Brian Furnish, Director of Farming & Global Production at Ananda Hemp in Cynthiana, Kentucky.

“We appreciate Senator McConnell’s unwavering support and leadership on behalf of hemp in Congress. By securing hemp legalization in the Farm Bill, Kentuckians can feel confident in the future of hemp and fully embrace its potential as an agricultural crop. This will open a vast amount of new opportunities for farmers, processors, retailers, and entrepreneurs like us here in Kentucky and nationwide,” said Alyssa Erickson, Co-founder of Kentucky Hempsters.

The Farm Bill Conference Report is expected to be approved by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the coming days; it will then be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature. In addition to the hemp measure, the Farm Bill strengthens the safety measures that directly help commodity producers as they confront low prices, volatile markets, and the constant threat of natural disasters. It also seizes on a number of opportunities to invest in the future of American agriculture and rural communities by expanding rural broadband, enhancing water infrastructure, and continuing the fight against the opioid epidemic that is devastating rural America.

According the 2017 processor production reports: Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky growers $7.5 million for harvested hemp. Additionally, Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program processor licensees reported $25.6 million in capital improvements and investments and $16.7 million in gross product sales. In 2017, more than 3,200 acres of hemp were being grown across Kentucky.

Tour Legal Hemp Farm In Kentucky Saturday, September 30, RSVP By September 29

KENTUCKY: Ananda Hemp is inviting the media to tour their 500-acre hemp farm and production facility on Saturday, September 30 from 12-3 at 2155 Grays Run in Cynthiana, KY.

A Farm Bill passed by Congress has included an amendment granting states and universities the right to research hemp. Several states have since started research projects, but Kentucky is at the forefront, experimenting with creating a new industry around this plant.

Meet 8th generation tobacco-turned-hemp-farmer, Brian Furnish, and hear how he is working with key members of Congress to change industrial hemp laws. Plus, get a tour of our laboratory to see how the hemp plant is processed.

For more information visit Ananda Hemp.

The Daily 202: Kentucky Is Latest Battleground In The Marijuana Wars

KENTUCKY: Happy Monday morning from Richmond, Ky., where the governor’s race, just one week from tomorrow, is a true toss-up. I’m crisscrossing the state talking to voters and trailing the candidates. During a debate at Eastern Kentucky University last night, some of the biggest fireworks came over whether to allow medical marijuana.

“There is unequivocal medical evidence … that there are benefits for those with cancer and epilepsy,” said Republican Matt Bevin. “It should be prescribed like any other prescription drug.”

Democrat Jack Conway, running as a tough-on-crime attorney general, touted his endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police and fretted about “a lost generation” of young people to narcotics, particularly prescription pain pills.

“I don’t want to hear from some hipsters out in Hawaii saying Kentucky needs medical marijuana,” Conway said. “Because, if you have medical marijuana, there’s going to be more of it. Chances are there will be more accidents on our roads by young kids because there’s more of it. If we need it, the medical community has to come convince me. … And I haven’t heard from any of them.”

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Production Starting Second Planting

KENTUCKY: From THC levels to plant shape and uses, industrial hemp is worlds apart from its cannabis cousin marijuana, Maysville Rotary Club members learned on Tuesday.

Speaking at its meeting was Adam Watson, manager of the Organic Certification Program at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Watson is also coordinator for the industrial hemp program in Kentucky which has been progressing since the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 50 in 2013 and the Federal Farm Bill enacted in 2014.

Currently in the experimental stage, hemp production methods at the 20 Kentucky growers have been in line with how the plant is grown in Canada, Watson said.

Estimated crop value would be in the $600 to $800 per acre planted, Watson said.

 

Kentucky Department of Agriculture Looking For Hemp Growers For 2015

KENTUCKY:  The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is taking applications for next year’s industrial hemp pilot projects. Potential growers must apply by Jan. 1; farmers who are chosen will be notified in late January.

“The first round of pilot projects with the universities and individual farmers in 2014 yielded a tremendous amount of data about production methods, seed varieties, harvesting and processing techniques, and uses for the harvested hemp,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said in a statement.

“We’re looking to conduct a wide scope of pilot projects in 2015. When the day comes that commercial hemp production is open to all producers and processors in Kentucky, we want to be ready.”

Ohio Residents Join Legal Hemp Harvest In Kentucky, Touting Jobs Creation, Brain Food

OHIO:  For the first time in two generations, the Industrial Hemp crop has been legally harvested in Kentucky. The hemp plots were grown in compliance with Kentucky state law and in accordance with Sec. 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) that authorized hemp cultivation for research purposes in states that permit Hemp farming.

The agricultural excitement spurred some of Ohio’s long-time hemp advocates to travel south to meet the farmers and gain first-hand experience with the plant that cannabis prohibition has kept out of American fields until very recently. In votes often favoring Hemp by wide margins, 20 states have legalized the crop, defining it as Cannabis Sativa L., having .03 percent THC or less (no drug/narcotic value). The reforms are welcome in Kentucky, where tobacco growers are hurting for alternative crops.

Even with the non-drug status being declared federally, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized viable hemp seed en route to Kentucky from Italy, as outdated policy under the Controlled Substances Act doesn’t recognize the scientifically-demonstrated chemical distinctions between “marihuana,” a Schedule I narcotic, and hemp, a viable agricultural cash crop commodity. Kentucky sued the DEA to release the seeds, and prevailed in federal court, allowing the research plots to proceed.

The Ohio Hemp Chamber of Commerce (OHCC), which planned the Kentucky hemp farm tour for its members, sees the DEA actions as more motivation to clear up the lingering misunderstandings about the ancient crop. For Jeremy Koosed, owner of Plant Kingdom Bakery in Lyndhurst, Ohio, clarifying the non-drug status is an urgent matter.

University Of Kentucky Researchers Harvest Hemp Crop

KENTUCKY:   University of Kentucky researchers have harvested the university’s first hemp crop in decades.

“It was a good growing season for many crops, not just hemp,” said David Williams, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment agronomist and co-project lead. “Precipitation was excellent this year and more than adequate for growth. The only downside to the growing season was that we planted a little bit late, but I don’t think that had much effect on the crop.”

UK’s research plot, planted May 27, was one of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s pilot studies to reintroduce hemp production in Kentucky. UK’s study was conducted in conjunction with Eastern Kentucky University and Kentucky State University.

“Congratulations to the University of Kentucky and all of our partners in the hemp pilot projects on the first hemp crop in Kentucky in almost 70 years,” said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who has championed the cause of returning hemp production to the commonwealth. “This crop will yield significant data about production techniques, which varieties do best in Kentucky and which of the many uses of hemp are most likely to succeed here.”

 

Kentucky’s Hemp Crops Flourish After Troubled Start

KENTUCKY:  It took a legal fight just to get the seeds in the ground, but two months later, Kentucky’s first legal hemp crops in decades are flourishing.

The hemp plants have grown from 6 to 16 feet in two months and researchers say that’s a good sign for what could be a new cash crop for Kentucky.

“It’s exciting,” said University of Kentucky plant researcher David Williams. “It’s new. It has potential. And so it’s very fun. It’s a lot of fun to be involved in something that’s new and potentially possible for Kentucky farmers.”

Williams will harvest UK’s hemp crop in September and compare its growth to 12 other varieties he planted.

Hemp Crop Takes Root In Kentucky

KENTUCKY:  A month after the seeds for Kentucky’s first legal hemp crop were released to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, hundreds of leafy plants are growing in research fields across Kentucky.

After initial fears that government holdups on delivering the seed would limit growers’ ability to get a good crop, seeds were released and planted around Memorial Day — beating a June 1 mark set by the Kentucky organizers of new trials to avoid significantly reduced yields.

Holly VonLuehrte, a spokeswoman for the state agriculture department said initial growing reports are good — shoulder high already in at least one location — and those assessments are echoed by two of the growers interviewed.

“The research will show that this is a crop that grows well in Kentucky, but particularly well out west at least thus far,” VonLuehrte said. “All indications are it’s not just doing well,” it’s doing “extremely well.”

 

Are Feds Trying To Run Down Clock On Kentucky Hemp Seeds?

KENTUCKY:  With just about two weeks until the end of planting season, Kentucky’s Agriculture Department agreed Friday to jump through a federal agency’s hoops so it can get hemp seeds that already are in the state.

State officials say they will file a four-page application for a one-page federal permit to obtain industrial hemp seeds that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officials have detained at a UPS facility at Louisville International Airport at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration. With the permit, the seeds would be released and Kentucky universities planning to conduct pilot projects under the new farm bill would be able proceed on their own land.

But a more complicated issue of whether farmers not affiliated with the universities will be allowed to grow hemp — whose fibers can be used in rope, clothing, foods and lotions — remained unresolved after a conference among the Kentucky officials and lawyers for the federal agencies that the state Agriculture Department is suing.

Federal District Judge John G. Heyburn II set another conference for Wednesday. State officials hope the seeds can be released by then and expect to have a proposal ready to solve the issue of third-party growers.