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Attorney General Jack Conway: Industrial Hemp is Still Illegal in Kentucky

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Attorney General Jack Conway is advising Kentucky leaders that industrial hemp farming remains illegal in Kentucky.Conway issued an advisory letter Wednesday to Gov. Steve Beshear, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and others to clarify current law related to hemp.The opinion from Conway does not carry the force of law.Kentucky lawmakers have passed legislation that would allow farmers to grow the crop if the federal government lifts a longstanding ban.(WFPL's past coverage of the hemp issue.)Conway said that ban remains firmly in place, but Comer contends that a recent decision by the federal government not to challenge new marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state clears the way for hemp production in Kentucky.Earlier this month, Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said they planned to draft a letter to U.S. Department of Justiceindicating that Kentucky will move forward with implementing hemp unless they are told otherwise.Conway is a prospective candidate in the 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial election; Comer is a prospective candidate on the Republican side.