A week before it would be too late to plant any industrial hemp, Kentucky has received its shipment of hemp seed which was confiscated by customs not too long ago. The battle was for just over 250 pounds of hemp seed being shipped over from Italy and seized by the DEA for unclear reasons. Industrial hemp was banned decades ago, however, some states pushed for a bill to legalize the harmless and extremely versatile plant for research purposes. Kentucky being one of them.
In current hemp news we see that the hemp seed which was taken by the DEA has been returned just as Kentucky moved forward to sue customs for the shipment. The industrial hemp Kentucky plans to grow and study can be used for countless applications including, medical research, paper, textiles, food, biofuel, and other materials, and with the shipment being returned, they can now finally get started planting the hemp seeds on one of the pilot lots.
Debates flared when the hemp seed was confiscated. One of Kentucky’s pilot plots is being utilized for the growth and harvest of industrial hemp for medical research, and Kentucky officials urged customs to return the seeds before it was too late to plant. (June 1st would be the cutoff date to plant hemp seeds in order for a full growing season) The head of the department of agriculture had stated on multiple occasions that the hemp seed coming in from Italy was ordered and carried out under the legal guidelines of the law.
Hemp used to grow wild in the state of Kentucky, but since being banned in 1970 it has become extinct within the region. Until now. The nearly 300 pound shipment of hemp seed will be delivered and planted sometime shortly after the holiday weekend. Kentucky industrial hemp is planned to be used to research for medical purposes, and the agricultural department’s industrial hemp coordinator, Adam Watson, said the initial growing season will offer up valuable data, but it might take a few years to have a better idea how this will all work. Since hemp hasn’t grown in Kentucky for a few decades, the researchers plan to take some time to figure out the best way to grow and research their newly received hemp seeds.
“This is the first step, and we’re glad to see it come to fruition for our department, for our research partners, and our producers.” Watson said, “I think Kentucky is leading the nation right now in hemp production.”