Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has avowed to push for industrial hemp cultivation licenses to start being issued to farmers throughout the state by the end of 2013.
Commissioner Comer’s motivation stems from the recent memorandum that was released by the United States Attorney General’s office listing their adjusted focal points in respect to enforcing the Controlled Substances Act in states that have implemented some form of marijuana legalization.
In a nutshell, the memorandum in question pronounces that as long as states enforce strict regulatory frameworks concerning marijuana laws then the federal government wouldn’t intercede.
“This is a major victory for Kentucky’s farmers and for all Kentuckians,” Commissioner Comer proclaimed. “Two years ago, the Obama administration would not even discuss the legalization of industrial hemp. But through a bipartisan coalition of Kentucky leaders, we forced their hand. We refused to listen to the naysayers, passed a hemp bill by a landslide, and our state is now on the forefront of an exciting new industry. That’s called leadership.”
Back in March of this year, Kentucky Congress members voted all but unanimously to pass Senate Bill 50, which received a vote of 88 to 4 in the state’s House of Representatives and passed with a vote of 35 to 1 in the Senate chambers.
Senate Bill 50 was written to permit Kentucky farmers to cultivate the beneficial crop if and when the federal government’s restrictions surrounding the plant were ever relaxed or reformed.
Attorney for Kentucky’s Agriculture Department, Luke Morgan, has acknowledged that the United States Attorney General’s newest memorandum gives his state the proverbial green light to move forward with their plans to farm industrial hemp.
“The DOJ memo removes any question that SB 50 and the changes to Kentucky’s laws in this legislation may be immediately implemented,” Morgan wrote in a statement. The memorandum in his opinion will “clarify that the federal government does not and will not view Kentucky’s industrial hemp as an illegal product.”
Brian Furnish, chairman of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, echoed Luke Morgan’s views affirming that the Department of Justice’s memorandum gives the impression that it’s okay to start hoeing rows as soon as the details have been worked out at a state level.
“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to break any law, get any farmer in trouble or put a black eye on hemp in Kentucky,” Furnish decreed. “But I don’t see how they could prevent us from growing hemp in Kentucky if they’re going to let other states grow marijuana.”