Hemp Seeds Could Be In Kentucky Hands By weekend

KENTUCKY:  Federal officials could release a 250-pound shipment of hemp seeds to Kentucky by the end of the week, according to a spokeswoman for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

The shipment arrived in Louisville last week, but the Drug Enforcement Agency told Comer his department would have to apply for a Schedule I controlled substance researcher license to gain possession it, which could take five months, said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, Comer’s chief of staff.

But on Tuesday, the agency backed off as Comer threatened legal action in federal court, VonLuehrte said. The DEA told Comer that his department would still need a permit but the application process could be expedited, she said.

VonLuehrte said Tuesday evening that Kentucky officials could have the seeds, which were shipped from Italy, by the end of the week.

“We started to rattle the cage,” she said of Tuesday’s discussions with the DEA.

Kentucky Asks Whether DEA Will Oppose Hemp

KENTUCKY: Three of Kentucky’s members of Congress and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration asking whether the federal agency would oppose Kentucky’s plans to begin growing hemp.

The letter, dated Nov. 25, relies on a Department of Justice policy change issued Aug. 29 that says the federal agency will not oppose laws by individual states to allow production of marijuana, hemp’s potent relative. Hemp has a tiny fraction of the intoxicating chemical in marijuana and is grown largely for the fiber in its stalks.

“It would defy common sense to allow states to move forward with marijuana activity, but ignore states that have passed laws allowing for the production of industrial hemp,” states the letter signed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. representatives John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, Comer and state Industrial Hemp Commission chairman Brian Furnish.

The letter notes that Colorado also plans to permit hemp production next year following its new law allowing marijuana.