By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Kentucky farmers may soon be able to plant the crop their forefathers grew: hemp.
Farmers throughout the state believe hemp will overtake tobacco as Kentucky's cash crop, creating a significant economic impact, especially after processing centers are built across the state.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is spearheading the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission pushing to bring the crop back via House Bill 286. If the bill is approved by the General Assembly, Comer will petition federal authorities for a permit for Kentucky to grow hemp.
"It's symbolic," Comer proclaimed. "But this will send a message to Washington that we're serious about this in Kentucky." "There's a void in many family farms," he said. "I believe that industrial hemp is a viable option for family farmers in Kentucky."
"University of Louisville did a study several years ago and said it would create 17,000 jobs immediately," according to Sen. Joe Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville.
"Construction products can be made from hemp, studs, beams, and posts. And you know what the greatest thing about them is? They are durable and lightweight," stated Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville.