Kentucky Passes Hemp-Growing Bill

Move will make it easy to resume production just in case feds ever give OK

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 27, 2013 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kentucky's House and Senate have passed a bill that could help the state become a major producer of hemp once again—if the federal government ever lifts its ban on the crop. Lawmakers voted heavily in favor of a measure to quickly license industrial-scale hemp growers, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The DEA currently does not distinguish between marijuana and its THC-light cousin, though tokers would need to go through bales of hemp to get a buzz.

Most of Kentucky's congressional delegation supports federal legislation that would distinguish between hemp and marijuana. Opponents of the state bill cited Kentucky State Police concerns that officers would not be able to tell legal hemp crops from illegal marijuana ones. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has said he shares those concerns and it's not clear whether he will veto the hemp bill when it reaches his desk, the Courier-Journal reports.

The federal government's attitude to hemp has changed since it produced this 1942 propaganda film.
The federal government's attitude to hemp has changed since it produced this 1942 propaganda film.   (AP Photo/USDA)
This  1942 photo shows hemp growing in Fayette County in Central Kentucky.
This 1942 photo shows hemp growing in Fayette County in Central Kentucky.   (AP Photo/Louisville Courier-Journal)
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