MenuMenu Image

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Speaks on Hemp Legislation

Commissioner Comer with Federalist Society Students

The UK College of Law Federalist Society hosted Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer in September. Commissioner Comer spoke to students about Kentucky's passage of regulatory framework to allow for the legalization of industrial hemp. The Commissioner also spoke on the latest developments on hemp regulation at the federal level and the implications on the agriculture community.

In August, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Colorado and Washington (two states allowing marijuana use) that he government would not interfere with licensing for hemp cultivation, so long as the states had strict regulatory frameworks in place. In March of this year, the Kentucky legislature passed Senate Bill 50, allowing the Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow hemp if and when federal restrictions are eased. While the bill does not legalize hemp, it sets up a system of regulations.

Six other states — Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia — have authorized the licensing of farmers to grow hemp, but the crop has not been cultivated in decades