Board Studying Viability of Hemp as Crop

Board Studying Viability of Hemp as Crop
Posted by FoM on November 20, 2001 at 12:26:02 PT
By Courtney Kinney, Post Frankfort Bureau Chief
Source: Kentucky Post
Another state-sponsored effort to look at industrial hemp as a cash crop has kicked off, but any chance of growing the plant in Kentucky is still a ways off. The Industrial Hemp Commission, a 17-member board created by the General Assembly earlier this year, met for the first time Monday.The group - made up of members of the pro-hemp community, law enforcement, the legislature and state Department of Agriculture - is charged with identifying whether hemp can successfully be grown and sold in Kentucky.
If hemp is ever to have a place in Kentucky's economy, the commission first needs to figure out who would buy it, members said Monday.''It would be difficult for us to go ask somebody to grow something and not have a market,'' said panel Chairman Mark Farrow, from the state Department of Agriculture.Capt. John Liles, representing the Kentucky State Police on the commission, said Monday he's in favor of studying hemp, but there are still several issues of concern. Chief among those is the ensuring the level of tetrahydocannabinol - THC - in hemp grown is below 1 percent.THC is a chemical found in both hemp and marijuana. Higher levels in marijuana are what give the plant its narcotic effect.The legislation that set up the study also authorized the growing of industrial hemp at state universities that applied to participate in the research.But so far, the University of Kentucky is the only state school to apply for the program, and UK still needs to obtain a state license to grow industrial hemp.However, Kentucky - which makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana - does not yet have a licensing process for industrial hemp.And even when it does, UK will have to obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which does not have to approve the research. The federal government also makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana.The commission so far has no money to support its study. Members discussed Monday the possibility of soliciting funds from public and private groups and individuals.Several members said the schools that participate shouldn't have to bear the financial burden themselves.Despite the obstacles, pro-hemp activists said they are more encouraged by the commission than by earlier attempts to study industrial hemp.''I think it's going to go a long way because now we have the wishes of the legislature,'' said Lexington-based hemp activist Andy Graves, president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative.A similar board set up by then-Gov. Brereton Jones in 1994 met twice before issuing a report that dismissed hemp's viability as a cash crop.Gatewood Galbraith, a Lexington lawyer who has used a pro-hemp platform in several unsuccessful campaigns for public office, including governor, said he has high hopes for the new commission but doubted the federal government would cooperate.''I think the DEA is going to thwart this effort at every turn,'' he said.The federal government has approved only one state, Hawaii, to grow hemp on a research basis. Two Views of Crop  Pro-hemp activists have long touted the plant as a replacement crop for beleaguered tobacco farmers, who have seen their quotas - and incomes - shrivel the past several years.Law enforcement officials, however, have consistently opposed its growth, saying it is too difficult to distinguish from marijuana.Note: State, federal laws are top hindrances.Source: Kentucky Post (KY)Author: Courtney Kinney, Post Frankfort Bureau ChiefPublished: November 20, 2001Copyright: 2001 Kentucky Post Contact: kyedits Website: NA Industrial Hemp Council's Hemp Links The Facts Straight About Hemp Hemp Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on November 20, 2001 at 17:52:17 PT
Viable?...Hell Yes!!!
Hemp is more than viable & that is why the Feds dont want any studies being done. They know that when the evidence is in they will be proven guily of lying to us for the last 64 years! It won't be a good day for the anti's! Justice will be done one way or another.
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