State Senator Plans to Introduce Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp
by Rose Krzton-Presson, Kentucky Public RadioWhen Kentucky’s General Assembly reconvenes in January, one of the measures up for consideration is an industrial hemp bill sponsored by Senator Joey Pendleton.The Christian County Democrat says if Kentucky were to legalize the growth of industrial hemp, it would create over 17,000 jobs and add up to $500 million dollars to the state budget.“85% of the industrial hemp raised in Canada is exported to the U.S. and a lot of it isexported into Kentucky,” Pendleton said. “It’ll be good for our agricultural community. It’ll be good for our economy and bringing more revenue to the Commonwealth.”In addition to providing another crop to the agricultural industry, he says industrial hemp will provide a number of manufacturing opportunities.“There’s a great opportunity in the clothing business and cosmetics and suntan lotions and stuff,” Pendleton said. “The best you’ll see is always said to be made from hemp products.”Pendleton filed a similar measure for industrial hemp last year, but was rejected. He says this year may be different because he expects the federal government to give Kentucky the required approval to grow hemp and he expects the new Commissioner of Agriculture to speak in favor of the act to the General Assembly in January.