Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is claiming that numerous state colleges and universities are poised to plant crops of industrial hemp now that President Obama has signed the new Farm Bill into law. The Farm Bill, which cleared Congress on February 4, permits pilot hemp-growing programs in states that have laws allowing its cultivation.
“What I have done is reached out to the universities that have expressed to me in wanting to do research on industrial hemp. We’re going to proceed and try to license as many farmers as we possibly can,” Comer avowed.Once a college or university finds farmers that are interested in hoeing rows, the farmer must then obtain licensing through the state. The crops would then be grown at the farmer’s expense under the school’s supervision.
The state’s on board, Congress agreed to let it happen, now what about the seeds? Where can an American farmer interested in planting hemp crops obtain the necessary seeds?
“The hemp seeds that we can find are in China and Canada. It’s going to take awhile to get them over here, and it’s very expensive to transport them over here,” Comer explained.
Commissioner Comer believes that the industrial hemp industry will be fully up and running within two to three years in his state.
“Ten years down the road, this will be a significant industry in Kentucky,” he affirmed.
Editor's note: This article originally published on the 420 Times on Monday, February 18, 2014.