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Louisville Kentucky farmers were waiting for a 250 pound batch of industrial hemp seeds, which were being sent over from Italy, so they could begin planting and growing industrial hemp for the first time in decades, but ran into a bit of a snag when Federal Customs agents stepped in and put a stop to the shipment. This caused an uproar due to the fact that growing hemp has now become legal in the state and Agricultural Commissioner James Comer “We did everything in a legally responsible way to bring the hemp industry back to Kentucky, and now the Federal Government is trying to flex its muscles and block this opportunity, violating its own law in the process.” Comer also went on to say that this is “Government outreach at its worst.”
There are eight experimental projects being launched across Kentucky to grow and research industrial hemp, and try to figure out just how much potential the plant has. As we’ve seen lately in current hemp news, more and more states across America have pushed a bill to make the farming of industrial hemp legal for research purposes. The plant can be used in a ton of applications and products and researches are wondering just how useful the hemp stalk can be. From hemp seed oil, to fuel, clothes, food, and even cars made completely from hemp, running on hemp biofuel; Some scientists and officials are calling it the “perfect plant”. Kentucky was one of the most recent states to attempt hemp research themselves until this latest snafu.
Hemp used to grow at abundant rates in Kentucky, and they assigned a few project sites for the growth and harvesting of hemp, while other pilot sites were used to the research of biofuel and construction materials. Lawmakers in the state passed the bill last year to legally grow industrial hemp for research purposes such as these, but the Federal Custom officials have seized the shipment and Kentucky doesn’t seem to be going down without a fight.
At least two of the project sites have been supplied hemp seed by California, but are running into trouble when ordering shipments from overseas, such as Italy. The fact that customs has been showing that they have no problem seizing crates of the hemp seeds means that might prove to be a problem when it comes time to put in for their next batch. They plan to get hemp seed shipments from China and Canada as well. Unless the government starts to cooperate, Kentucky might find themselves in a legal battle for their supplies, and they might only have until June to get everything sorted out since the plant needs to be planted by early June in order to be as viable as they hope. Industrial hemp research is important to the entire planet, and as this may be a small setback for one state, it’s still a big step in the right direction.