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Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature


kentucky hemp legalizedBy Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.

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Johnny Green


  1. That plate gonna be worth a LOT of $ to someone who really wants it ! Your first investment in Weed has pay-off potential. Take a bow Kirk and one for the State of N.C. You did tell em what you were doing, right ?

  2. And Small time farming comes back to heal a nation. Yes I want my clothes made in MY country out of cloth my ancestors were proud to wear. We got to kick king cotton back to wherever and start supporting our own organic home grown products. And the Great State of Kentucky can show em.

  3. I’m with you on this one Louie. Time to get with the programme and stop playing possum. Get Orincon or a suitale supplier to assist with the controlling of Hemp growth AND GET THE STATES ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK.. Plus Fireing the Lying Politicians will certainly clean out any problems you might encounter with the Criminal Elements regarding your Hemp status.
    Go Kentucky !

  4. The best quote ever is the former prosecutor during the sb50 vote something to the effect of “I’m worried hemp still has the potential to be as dangerous as it could be”

    Should we wait 75 years longer for it to rear its ugly head?

  5. Any and all pressure placed on the feds to overturn the illegality of Cannabis is welcome news in my way of thinking.. Especially when it comes from the state(s) level. You’re technically correct, of course. It’s probably not needed out of any legal necessity, except that the feds, when they finally do act, will leave most likely leave it up to the states to decide their own laws. In that case Kentucky and any more states that place these preemptive laws in place will be set to go while the rest of us will still be scratching our heads and arguing in the halls.

  6. I was happy about the bill when I first heard about it too, but…

    The bill, now law, authorizes the republic within the state of Kentucky to grow industrial hemp once the federal government lifts the ban on industrial hemp. I might be missing something here, so please correct me if I am wrong. Kentucky farmers still have to wait for the DEA to end its prohibitive policy on industrial hemp and/or cannabis; isn’t that what we are all waiting for already? Once the feds end cannabis prohibition would we have to wait for the state to craft legislation in order for its citizens to cultivate and consume cannabis?

    Please help me understand. I can’t find info regarding the necessity of this kind of preparative legislation.

  7. Suntan Oil/ Sun Blocker is very expensive. Plywood is very expensive. Hemp plywood could be very affordable! We need JOBS and homes. Also, HEMP has antibiotics that kill penicillin resistant bacteria! United Nations 1960 World Report on Cannabis Sativa explains in detail. I try to educate others everyday on this cancer killing plant. I have a license plate issued to me from North Carolina that says CANNABIS :)

  8. Johnny oneye on

    I though this was an april fools joke!
    Jobs for Kentucky!
    Cant wait for clothes made in america by americans!

  9. Johnny oneye on

    How about that LEO at the HEMP hearing ” you can get high off of HEMP”
    complete lies repeated do not equal truth!
    I still cant believe this is happening!
    The missing link-cannabis!

  10. IF the KY State Police are not capable or performing a task the Canadian police have performed for over a decade.


    Orincon Cameras can detect the difference between Industrial/Oilseed Hemp Varieties and “marihuana” flower/bud producing Cannabis…

    From 5,000 Feet in the air, AND/OR 100s of Yards away on the ground.

    “Law enforcement opposes legalizing hemp production because officers get paid to destroy it, while marijuana growers oppose legalization because hemp cross-pollinates and destroys marijuana’s potency. And neither side talks about Orincon, a company with remote sensing technology able to differentiate marijuana and hemp from up to 5,000 feet in the air, or other simple in-field tests that accomplish the same results.”

    Louie B. Nunn
    Former Governor of Kentucky


    “IF a politician will lie about a plant, what won’t they lie about?”

  11. Delta Zonker on

    I agree with your thought that we need a showdown on the tenth amendment, but in the case of cannabis and hemp laws, the law needs to state specifically that state law enforcement must support the state’s law, and not fall in with the feds and undercut our efforts.

  12. firetheliberals on

    Governor, you are a pussy. By not signing you are voting present like obama did in illinois.

    Good for kentucky. Gentleman, get some seeds and start growing. Dare the feds to come in and prove that state laws can be pre-empted by federal laws. We need a showdown on the tenth amendment

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