GOP Ag Commissioner Candidates Support Hemp

by Gabe Bullard on April 27, 2011

Several candidates for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner say they’d like to see more industrial hemp grown in the state, but law enforcement officials disagree with the proposals.

The commonwealth was once a leading producer of hemp, which can be used for paper, textiles and other products. Proponents say it could help bring revenue to Kentucky.

However, Kentucky State Police Lt. David Jude says law enforcement does not support more hemp growth, since the plant is easily confused with its cousin … marijuana.

“There’s just a small difference between the plants, of which I can’t describe that. As far as us enforcing it, it’s going to create issues as to what is a legal plant and what is an illegal plant,” he says. “Obviously we’re going to support the law. We’re going to work within the laws to make sure people are in compliance with it. However, it’s not to that point yet and as of right now the state police are against it for those reasons. It’s just going to create a lot of issues for us on the enforcement side.”

Jude says if the laws were changed, extra regulation would likely be necessary to prevent any malfeasance.

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