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250 Pounds of Hemp Seeds Arrive in Louisville—But Customs Officials Are Leery

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A shipment of hemp seeds from Italy has made it to Kentucky—but there’s a problem. U.S. Customs officials in Louisville have so far refused to release the 250 pound shipment to the state Agriculture Department.While Kentucky law was recently changed to allow the growing of hemp for university-run research projects, federal customs officials are still leery of signing off on the seed shipments. “I spoke with a customs official in Chicago, and once I advised her of what the law is, and what we’re doing at the Department of Agriculture, customs in Chicago released the seeds to Louisville, and now it’s just a question of getting everyone on the same page," says Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of state in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. VonLuehrte says she believes the seeds will be released by the Louisville customs officials by Friday afternoon. The shipment is designated to supply three pilot hemp projects in the state.