House passes Hemp resolution

The Kentucky House voted Wednesday to ask Congress to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana in the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The Legislative Research Commission says the request would be made under House Concurrent Resolution 35, sponsored by state Representative DJ Johnson of Owensboro, who told the House that hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the cannabis plant but is non-narcotic and legally produced on many Kentucky farms for industrial use.

Kentucky removed many hemp products from its definition of illegal substances in 2017 and Johnson says removing hemp from the federal Controlled Substance Act “will allow Kentucky farmers and processors to take full advantage of this promising agricultural crop.”

Kentucky hemp production increased from 33 acres in 2014 to 3,200 acres in 2017, with nearly 50 hemp processors now operating in the state. Johnson said production is expected to reach 4,000 to 6,000 acres with 56 processors this year.