Category Archives: Industrial HEMP

Hemp harvest begins

Kentucky State researchers begin to bring in school’s 1st crop

By Brent Schanding, Published: September 25, 2015 8:20AM

Sheri Crabtree carries a bundle of cut hemp plants at the Kentucky State University Reasearch Farm. (Bobby Ellis/

Kentucky State University researchers on Wednesday began harvesting the school’s first hemp crop at the Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm on Mills Lane off U.S. 127 South.

They spent about four hours in the field cutting stalks before hauling them to a greenhouse to cure.

“This is a new crop for Kentucky so part of this research is to help give farmers an idea as to how they can use it,” said Chelsea Jacobson, a research coordinator for Nicholasville-based agri-giant Alltech that’s been partnering with KSU on its efforts to revive the once prominent cash crop. 

Dr. Kirk Pomper — associate research director and professor of horticulture at KSU who is co-leading the university’s research efforts — says he’s interested in converting the hemp to fiber and cloth. It’s a market that has a growing potential in Kentucky since hemp was legally reintroduced here in 2014. 

In June, researchers with the College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems along with a technical agronomist from Alltech took soil samples and treated and prepared a test plot before sowing several small parcels with hemp seeds at KSU’s farm.

“We’ve got two different products here so we’re looking for differences between them. Difference in height, seed count and oil content,” Pomper said. “We’re looking at the effect of the influence of soil enzymes on the two products.” 

Hemp revival
Hemp was first planted in Kentucky in 1775 when the state served as leader in the U.S. hemp industry. It flourished for generations before largely disappearing by the late 1940s when federal lawmakers restricted its production with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 made hemp a controlled substance under federal law, with production regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, Kentucky lawmakers in 2014 approved legislation to permit industrial hemp production in the state. In February of 2014 Kentucky announced five pilot hemp projects across the state and several farmers have since revived the crops in fields across the Bluegrass.

While hemp and its cousin marijuana are both derived from the same cannabis plant, industrial hemp production relies on the commercial use of the plant’s stalk and seeds to produce textiles, paper, plastics and body care products among other things.


"Welcome to Kentucky, the leading industrial hemp-producing state"



By Janet Patton

September 28, 2015

Hemp has come a long way, increasing from 33 acres in 2014 — the first legal crop in Kentucky — to more than 922 acres planted this year.

"Welcome to Kentucky, the leading industrial hemp-producing state in the country. It feels good to say that," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told a sold-out crowd Monday at the annual Hemp Industries Association Conference in Lexington.

This was the first time in 22 years that the conference of hemp entrepreneurs and activists has been held in a hemp-producing state, said Eric Steenstra, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association.

Among the crowd of 200 were attendees from as far away as Hawaii, Alaska and Australia, including people well known in the fight to legalize industrial hemp and separate it from more controversial marijuana. The notables included Hawaii state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, who fought to establish one of the first DEA-regulated test plots years ago, and David Bronner, whose multinational soap company has contributed $10,000 to grants for Kentucky farmers to transition to organic hemp.

Comer, the conference’s keynote speaker, was greeted with a standing ovation for his efforts to bring industrial hemp back to Kentucky after decades of federal banishment.

"We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his efforts," said Andy Graves, CEO of Atalo Holdings, a Central Kentucky group that has organized growers and processors.

Kentucky has more than 121 growers working with seven universities around the state on research into growing, processing and marketing hemp into everything from oil, food and fiber to energy, manufacturing, textiles, automotive composites, construction materials and paper, Comer said.

Most importantly, Kentucky has attracted more than 20 processors, who will be key to taking the crop into profitable markets.

Comer predicted that in coming years, Kentucky will go from less than 1,000 acres to thousands, and from 24 processors to hundreds.

"We’re going to be the epicenter of industrial hemp in this country," Comer said.

The next battle, he said, will be with the Food and Drug Administration. He plans to lobby to keep cannabis oil products regulated as supplements rather than as medications.

Comer plans to work on the FDA until December, when he will leave office for the private sector, he said. He has no plans "at this time" to run for political office again, he said.

Kentucky’s hemp program will be in the hands of a new agriculture commissioner; candidates Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, a Democrat, and Ryan Quarles, a Republican, are scheduled to meet with hemp conference attendees on Tuesday.

Both candidates have indicated that they support continuing the state’s hemp program, which Steenstra said will be crucial because it isn’t clear that the pilot program could continue without the state’s involvement in coordinating farmers with researchers through legal memoranda of understanding.

Federal efforts to legalize full-scale industrial hemp production continue, Steenstra said.

"Groups like HIA and Vote Hemp will be more important than ever, because now we have something to lose," Steenstra said.

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: @janetpattonhl.

Read more here:

What happened to the hemp crop in kentucky? (It took a trip!)

Low hemp harvest yield expected

Story by Lauren Epperson, Contributing writer

Emily Harris/The News Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said problems with this years seeds could lead to a low yielding harvest.Emily Harris/The News
Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said problems with this years seeds could lead to a low yielding harvest.

By late May, Murray State agriculture students still were awaiting the arrival of the key ingredient to their summer hemp-growing program: the seeds.

Getting them to Murray took two more months, attempted shipments from two countries, a pair of bureaucratic paperwork snafus and two of the largest delivery companies in the world.

“There were significant problems with this year’s seeds,” said Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture.

As a result, this fall’s hemp harvest – the second since the federal government allowed Kentucky universities to grow the crop – won’t be a big one, Brannon said.

“We will probably harvest the full two acres,” he said. “It will not be high yielding, but we will try to harvest all of it.”

Murray State’s agriculture students harvested their first crop last year in late October. But Brannon said college officials haven’t decided when that will be this fall or what they will do with the crop once it’s harvested.

Just getting it to Murray was a logistical miracle.

Sixty tons of seeds left Germany and arrived in Chicago without a key piece of customs paperwork. The seed company, which forgot the seeds’ certification form, paid to ship the 60 tons back to Germany.

Plan B was to receive a different shipment from Canada. FedEx picked up those seeds and brought them to Louisville only to realize FedEx policies prevented them from delivering any hemp seeds, Brannon said.

That hemp went back to Canada, only to be picked up by UPS and returned to Louisville. Upon arrival, U.S. Customs agents seized them and placed them under embargo at the UPS processing and packaging center for another two weeks before the seeds finally reached Murray State.

Murray State’s Department of Agriculture partnered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, U.S. Hemp Oil and CannaVest this summer to raise and conduct research on hemp for the second time. Murray State became the first university to plant a legal industrial hemp crop in the nation in the spring of 2014.

“It’s been an exciting project,” Brannon said. “Our mission is to provide opportunities for regional agriculture, and if it’s an opportunity for regional agriculture, we want to be a part of it.”

Kentucky was the leading hemp-producing state in the United States until it was outlawed by federal legislation in 1938.

The National Council of State Legislatures has stated that the federal government classifies hemp as an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act because it contains trace amounts of the same hallucinogen found in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC).

Hemp production was legalized for research purposes at registered state universities when the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law in February, 2014.

Although Murray State was the first university to plant hemp for research, it is not the only university. The University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University also have conducted pilot programs concerning hemp.

“I think it’s really cool that we’re one of the only universities in the state that is allowed to conduct this type of research and I hope that we are able to continue in the future with this agricultural pursuit,” said Sarah Luckett, sophomore from Beechmont, Kentucky.

Murray State’s most recent crop, planted July 12, has reached an average height of three to four feet. Murray State’s Department of Agriculture has not yet set a date to harvest the crop or decided how that process will be conducted.

Adam Watson, industrial hemp program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, said that he expects the pilot programs to continue and further research to be conducted.

“I think it’s good that our school is able to conduct relevant, respectable and legal research about this issue,” said Chris Albers, junior from Breese, Illinois.


‘A grand experiment’, Tobacco farmer’s crop biggest in Ky.,

  • By Rebecca Walter, New Era Staff Writer
  • Updated Sep 10, 2015

    Hemp crop biggest in state

    Beside a humming industrial combine, Crofton farmer Kendal Clark gazed across his field, home to the largest hemp crop in Kentucky.

    During the harvesting process Tuesday, Clark said while the future is foggy, there is great potential for this year’s crop.

    “It’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure,” he said. “But it is showing some potential when it didn’t have the best chance in the world. It’s really turning around more than I would have imagined.”

    The crop, planted in mid-June, is a first for Clark, who is primarily a tobacco farmer. He said he’s already been contacted by several agencies, including the Epilepsy Foundation and various pharmaceutical chains, for potential uses for the crop.

    “The possibilities for this crop have barely been tapped,” he said.

    While this is the first year Clark has grown hemp, he is no stranger to the farming game. He has been harvesting most his life and full-time since 1977. Farming is embedded in his family’s roots, and his parents grew hemp during World War II under a federal contract.

    New beginnings

    Before planting, Clark had to obtain a permit, which he said was a lengthy process. Clark is working through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program, which stemmed from the passage of two separate laws — Senate Bill 50 passed in 2013 and the Farm Bill signed into law February 2014.

    Doris Hamilton, coordinator of the Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, confirmed Clark’s hemp field is the largest in the state.

    Clark is among 99 people approved to plant hemp this year. Last year, the first year hemp production was legal in more than 50 years, that number was only 20.

    Hamilton said the approval process is selective and only about a third of applicants were approved this year. Individuals have to go through a background check and orientation before beginning production.

    She said the scale of hemp plots this year ranges from small greenhouses to the extent of Clark’s field. Clark’s main field is approximately 60 acres, and he has small additional fields bringing the total up to 100.

    Hamilton said yields varied across the state, with some “very successful” and others not so much.

    “The rain in July was detrimental to a lot of folks,” she said. The first six weeks are the most crucial, Hamilton added, and if there is too much rain and not enough sunlight, it can damage the crop.

    Hamilton expects crops across the state will be developed into several products, ranging from oil to Cannabidiol, used in various medical treatments.

    Last year, there were hemp crops in Pembroke and Dawson Springs. Katie Moyer, a local hemp advocate and partner in a new hemp-based company, Legacy Hemp, said the Dawson Springs crop didn’t survive, and the crop harvested in Pembroke is still bundled and waiting for its next move.

    Moyer said the next step for Clark’s crop is to put the seed in bins where it can dry. Then the seed cleaning process will begin.

    “We are in a good position to benefit big time from this crop,” she said.

    A historical crop

    Hemp was first grown in Kentucky in 1775, and the state became the leading producer in the nation. The peak production was in the mid-19th century, with 40,000 tons produced in 1850, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

    Production dropped off after the Civil War, and Kentucky became almost the exclusive producer of hemp.

    Federal legislation passed in 1938 outlawed the production of cannabis, including hemp. But production revved up again during World War II.

    Clark’s parents were contracted under the government to produce hemp during the war. The crop, like their son’s, was planted in north Christian County. It was used to make rope for the U.S. Navy.

    The crop has faced a certain stigma because it is a variety of cannabis sativa, which is of the same plant species as marijuana.

    But Clark said the crops are distinctly different, pointing out how easily the difference can be detected by looking at it. He has faced a few jokes around the community about growing hemp, but said the response has generally been positive.

    Looking to the future

    Clark said he plans on planting hemp again next year, taking what he has learned this season and carrying that knowledge into next year’s crop.

    “It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been learning,” he said. “It has intrigued us enough and really hasn’t had a fair chance this year with the weather. We just want to give it the best shot we can.”

    The exact economic impact is still unclear, and it may be months before an answer is known.

    “This is a grand experiment,” Clark said. “But you have to start somewhere.”

    Hemp facts

    – The first hemp crop in Kentucky was grown in 1775.

    – An estimated 55,700 metric tons of industrial hemp are produced around the world each year.

    – China, Russia and South Korea are the leading hemp-producing nations and account for 70 percent of the world’s industrial hemp supply.

    – More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

    – Current industry estimates report U.S. retail sales of all hemp-based products may exceed $300 million per year.

    – It is illegal to grow hemp without a permit from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).

    — Information from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website

    Reach Rebecca Walter at 270-887-3241 or


    County’s 1st hemp seeds of 2015 planted

    More, bigger plots coming, advocate says

    • By Eli Pace, New Era editor




    If last year’s industrial hemp planting was a trial run, this year Christian County hemp farmers are going all out with what’s expected to be 85 total acres of the crop spread across four local pilot projects.

    The first pilot went into the ground Friday at Jeff Davis’ Pembroke farm, said Katie Moyer, a local hemp advocate who’s been heavily involved in the push to legalize the crop, which can be used to make everything from paper to plastics.

    “It was actually done in record time,” Moyer said of Davis’ second hemp planting. “He got the seed Friday and planted Friday evening.”

    Winner of the chamber’s 2015 Famer of the Year award, Davis planted a half-acre of hemp last year on his 1,300-acre farm. This time, according to Moyer, he put down about five acres’ worth of seeds on a different strip of land.

    That’s a small chunk of the roughly 85 acres that’s expected to be planted across the four local pilots, but depending on how far the seed goes, Moyer said, the actual acreage could be a little more or a little less.

    Compared to the two half-acre pilots planted last year in Christian County, that’s quite the step up.

    “Yeah, big time,” Moyer said.

    If everything goes according to plan, seed for the largest of the Christian County hemp pilots could be planted as early as Tuesday. When the seeds sprout, the crop should be visible from the Pennyrile Parkway at the Crofton interchange.

    “This one is going to be very big and very visible,” Moyer said, adding that, because of media coverage and increased hemp awareness, more and more Kentucky farmers are showing interest in the crop.

    “People really had an opportunity to see what was going on (last year). It’s like a snowball effect. We’re definitely a lot busier now than we were last year.”

    In line with that growth, Moyer and a handful of individuals have formed a new company called “Legacy Hemp.”

    Reached over the phone Monday, Moyer said she was working on filing the necessary paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State for what is to be a certified seed breeder that’s being created to sell hemp seed to Kentucky farmers and facilitate some of the processing that’s involved with taking the crop to market. A company website is in the works.

    “Because everything is so new, we’re really feeling things out,” she said.

    Moyer explained that, more than anything, she hopes people realize industrial hemp is not marijuana.

    The two are related plant species, but hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that can register as high as 30 percent or more in marijuana and produces intoxicating effects in humans.

    Because of the high visibility of this year’s crops, Moyer also said she hopes any would-be pot users don’t make the mistake of thinking hemp is an illicit crop, try to smoke it or steal any of the hemp plants to sell for a profit.

    Reach Eli Pace at 270-887-3235 or


    Local farmer leading the way in growing industrial hemp

    By Sheldon Compton

    HIPPO – Hippo resident Todd Howard had never been employed in his adult life when he was laid off as an engineer for the coal industry in 2010. He had also never farmed a day in his life. All that was about to change.

    After Howard lost his job as an engineer, the Hippo resident said a key aspect of his personality was revealed in the best way possible.

    “They had to make the decision to lay folks off, and I’ve just never been one to sit around and do nothing,” he said.

    Howard lost his job in December and by Feb. 10 he had constructed a green house. Construction on that green house led to a crop of 10,000 tomato plants the first year. By the third year, Howard was overseeing the Floyd County Farmer’s Market and closing in on $50,000 in gross sales. But the time required with the market became difficult to manage.

    “The farmer’s market was taking up a lot of my time and last year we decided to to try a sixteen-week program with Community Supported Agriculture,” Howard said.

    This move launched Howard’s work as a full-time farmer, and now he is at the forefront of the movement to grow hemp in Kentucky in an effort to see Eastern Kentucky’s economy improved through ready resources not always popular throughout the state and nation.

    Shortly after his efforts with the farmer’s market got underway, Howard soon became a board member for a statewide community farm alliance, testifying before senate and house agriculture committees, supporting the hemp bill introduced roughly three years ago.

    “After getting to know some of the folks who helped get this legislation passed, I made a few acquaintances in that regard,” he said. “Mike Lewis and I got close.”

    Lewis, who is a Kentucky farmer and COO with the organization Freedom Seed and Feed, a company with offices in Lexington, reached out to Howard, along with University of Pikeville’s Eric Mathis, visiting lecturer of applied sustainability at UPike.

    The organization is a subsidiary of Mountain High Acquisitions Corporation, a Colorado-based company who advocate the legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp.

    “He (Mathis) got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested in growing some hemp, saying Mike had recommended me,” Howard said. “I’m a person notorious for diving in head-first without realizing sometimes I’m diving into the kiddie pool, but in we got a site located, got seed in the ground. So we have crop in the ground. It’s sprouted, it’s coming up, and it’s growing.”

    The site is located along what was once strip mine land at the Pikville-Pike County Regional Airport, a section of land difficult to farm, to say the least, according to Howard.

    “Growing on these mine sites is like a crap shoot,” he added. “You don’t know what you’re going to get. To date, no one I know has had any success growing at these places. The land is compacted soil and has huge rocks. It’s nothing like a standard agricultural piece of land you’d normally work with.”

    Howard said the general goal is to create smaller cooperative models for growing industrial hemp on a larger scale.

    “Obviously Eastern Kentucky has a brand right now and has some potential for this,” Howard said. “It’s sort of the elephant in the room to a player on a larger scale with all of this acreage. Let’s find a use for it.”

    Sheldon Compton is a staff writer for the Floyd County Times. He can be reached at 886-8506.


    Hemp planted at Locust Grove

    Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal 10:10 p.m. EDT June 5, 2015



    "Today hemp is grown mostly in Canada. and the seeds and oil are imported for culinary purposes, but historically hemp was cultivated mainly for use in canvas and rope."

    Locust Grove will have a hemp festival on Aug. 9. It will include a hemp village where products can be purchased, a hemp café with foods made from hemp oil and seeds, rope and paper making demonstrations, and talks by experts on hemp.

    Also at the festival two films will be shown — "Hemp for Victory," a World War II-era short documentary, and "Bringing It Home," a film about the modern benefits of hemp.

    Sponsors of the festival include Rainbow Blossom, Caudill Seed & New Earth. Admission to the festival is $5 per person.

    Locust Grove is a 55-acre, 18th-century farm site and National Historic Landmark at 561 Blankenbaker Lane, just off River Road. The site has a mansion that was the home of the Croghan family. It served as a gathering place for George Rogers Clark and his associates and was visited by several presidents.

    The property has a welcome center with a gift shop, museum and meeting space.

    Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer can be reached at (502) 582-7089. Follow him on Twitter at @sheldonshafer.


    the first year of state-sanctioned industrial hemp farming under the Farm Bill succeeded, and the pilot program’s second year promises to be bigger and better

    On May 5th 2015, James Comer, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), held a press conference in a Lexington-based tobacco facility belonging to G.F. Vaughan, the last remaining tobacco processor in Kentucky.

    His message was historic, his location symbolic: the first year of state-sanctioned industrial hemp farming under the Farm Bill succeeded, and the pilot program’s second year promises to be bigger and better, with the potential to elevate the entire state economy by restoring industrial hemp as the new “cash crop.”

    Specifically, Commissioner Comer announced that KDA had approved 121 total participants, including seven universities, over 1,724 acres — a significant increase from last year.   Additionally, millions of dollars have been invested in the state’s emerging industrial hemp production and processing industries.

    The revival of industrial hemp means that Kentucky is creating a new agricultural commodity market, attracting an infusion of private-sector money from both inside and outside the state.  By giving farmers, suppliers and processors the ability to hire additional staff and join the vanguard of the global resurgence in industrial hemp, Kentucky is empowering a return to its past agricultural leadership.

    Kentucky is once again the American heartland of industrial hemp culture, a title it proudly held throughout history before Prohibition. But it wouldn’t have gotten here if not for the determination of its political leadership, starting with Comer himself.  He was an early advocate of legalizing industrial hemp and worked with thought leaders from both parties to win support, joining with the rich Kentucky leadership of Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Thomas Massie, Paul Hornback, John Yarmouth, and Andy Barr to move to action.

    In 2014, these pilot programs were legitimized under the Farm Bill (aka The Agricultural Act of 2014).  Given the tough economic times, and particularly the economic plight of farmers, Comer’s Kentucky Proud strategy for a sustainable crop made perfect sense.  But politics intervened, and as the first 250-pound shipment of certified industrial hemp seeds from Italy arrived at the Louisville airport, the DEA seized them as if they were contraband, in direct violation of the new law.

    Where others may have cowered before the federal authorities, Comer filed suit against the DEA, asserting his state’s rights to carry out its industrial hemp program. Realizing that they overstepped their bounds, the DEA released the seeds in time for planting: Jamie Comer’s quick action saved the 2014 industrial hemp growing season, setting the stage for the dramatic increase in the 2015 planting season.

    GenCanna Global: Setting the Industry Standard

    Hemp Project

    “Young hemp plant; Source GenCanna Global”

    All pilot programs in Kentucky seek to move industrial hemp farming forward, but one in particular has lead the way: GenCanna Global and its Hemp Kentucky Project.

    GenCanna, working with its strategic local partners, immediately distinguished themselves by establishing the state’s first dedicated analytical laboratory in Lexington.  Since compliance with potency levels is vitally important, regulators from KDA and scientists from universities were invited into the lab to observe and confer.  The Hemp Kentucky Project is compiling significant internal data for use in future agricultural production decisions.

    The Hemp Kentucky Project now employs over 40 people at facilities in Jackson and Garrard Counties.  Close working relationships with nursery and farming families have led to high expectations for the 2015 outdoor season.  Because GenCanna specializes in industrial hemp with high CBD (Cannabidiol), it is necessary to have defined protocols at all stages of the growth and processing cycle.  This new-aged approach to the ancient industrial hemp cultivation and production techniques has been enabled by the quick adoption of modern standards at both locations.

    CEO Matty Mangone-Miranda quoted “ between our strategic partners with local nurseries and farms, our scientific research, and breeding and seed development at our Hemp Campus, we are literally seeding this agricultural revolution in Kentucky.  The ability to produce large amounts of CBD will fundamentally alter the supply available for both the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.  This Hemp Kentucky Proud effort will catapult locals into the forefront of industrial hemp production nationally.”

    GenCanna is drawing on the great availability of different farming techniques to properly understand all aspects of repurposing existing farm assets to its unique high CBD industrial hemp.  As Chris Stubbs, GenCanna’s Chief Scientific Officer, puts it “the GenCanna Production Platform (GPP) assures the standardized, repeatable quality from nursery to field to processing to formulation.”  Additionally, Chris adds “the GPP ensures our mutual responsibilities with respect to staying within the letter and intent of the laws under which we operate.  We couldn’t be more pleased with the leadership and understanding that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has shown.”

    GenCanna is not alone in its efforts.  Their strategic partner, Atalo Holdings, is the largest growing cultivation in the entire pilot program with over 30 farming partners.  Atalo and GenCanna are teaming up to repurpose a former tobacco seed development facility, conveniently located in the midst of the traditional industrial hemp heartland.  This new facility, a Hemp Campus, will be a research center that will attract companies and scientists from around the world to develop knowledge of CBD and create a vast inventory of Kentucky-developed, American-certified hemp seed cultivars.

    As the industrial hemp production of large amounts of CBD becomes a probability, globally renowned research scientists are noticing.  Dr. Mark Rosenfeld, CEO of ISA Scientific, an American-based group of medical experts and cannabinoid scientists with direct ties to Israel and China talked about the partnering with GenCanna and the Hemp Kentucky Project as it “paves the way for substantial improvements in treating chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening health conditions that not only afflict many Kentuckians, but hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Part of the reason why we have a global scale of what we do.”

    ISA Scientific’s Dr. Perry Fine (whose roots are in Lexington) spoke of how the GenCanna-ISA partnership will immediately work on treating diabetes and chronic pain with pharmaceutical-grade CBD therapies that are affordable and accessible.

    Through its Hemp Kentucky Project, GenCanna and its strategic partners are working collaboratively to produce large quantities of CBD diversified over multiple farms in Kentucky.  COO Steve Bevan, recognizing the sizable capital investments in nurseries and farms, insists that empowering farmers to “help commoditize the production of CBD such that a sustainable agricultural industry can develop to literally produce for both the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets.  We are creating jobs, research, facility development, and industry leadership, all which require the human capital necessary to make this happen,  Steve suggests that “we’re going to need workers, technicians, accountants, support staff, scientists, everybody. And we’re going to find each of those people right here in Kentucky.”


    Wyden presses to lift federal ban on industrial hemp

    Talks on Senate floor to mark National hemp History Week

    From KTVZ.COM news sources
    POSTED: 7:29 PM PDT June 4, 2015  UPDATED: 7:29 PM PDT June 4, 2015


    Sen. Wyden backs lifting ban on industrial hemp

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., takes to Senate floor to urge colleagues to lift ban on industrial hemp



    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Thursday again urged lifting the federal ban on industrial hemp, saying it has a wide variety of uses and economic benefits in Oregon and nationwide.

    Hemp-based products contributed $620 million to the U.S. economy in 2014, but current federal regulations prohibit farmers from growing hemp in the United States, the senator noted.

    “I’ve long said if you can make it and sell it in Oregon, you should be able to grow it in Oregon,” Wyden said in a speech on the Senate floor in recognition of National Hemp History Week.

    “In my view, keeping the ban on growing hemp makes about as much sense as instituting a ban on Portobello mushrooms," he said. "There’s no reason to outlaw a product that’s perfectly safe because of what it’s related to.”

    Wyden highlighted several products made in Oregon from industrial hemp by companies such as Milwaukie-based Bob’s Red Mill, which produces protein powder from hemp seeds, Creswell-based Fiddlebumps, which makes hemp butter and other skin care products, and Eugene-based Hemp Shield, which makes deck sealant and wood finish from hemp.

    Wyden introduced a bill earlier this year with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to lift the ban on growing hemp domestically. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, S. 134, would distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Al Franken, D-Minn., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., also cosponsored the bill.


    Banking on industrial hemp

    Posted on May 29, 2015
    by Dan Dickson

    Industrial hemp is getting a lot of ink, air time and social media attention in Kentucky lately.

    In the second year of the state’s hemp pilot program, 121 farmers were selected to grow a total of 1,740 acres of the crop in demonstration projects that industry leaders hope will prove the potential of hemp. But is hemp a good investment? Should banks and individual investors be sinking money into it?

    “We’re absolutely excited about it,” said Debra Stamper, counsel for the Kentucky Bankers Association. “Any new industry is great for the economy, which means it’s great for the banks.”

    Stamper said she’s impressed by the wide range of products produced from hemp, everything from clothing, oils and personal care products to automobile parts and food.
    “Kentucky has such a rich history of hemp production for products,” she said. “It could help farmers who used to grow tobacco, especially smaller farms.”

    Bank loans for Kentucky agriculture have fallen off in recent years, according to the association.

    While hemp might provide a boost, Stamper said she thinks Kentucky bankers need to be reassured that investing in hemp is safe. The federal farm bill allows certain states to operate hemp pilot programs.

    “I would argue quite strongly that that allows Kentucky banks, any bank, in states where hemp is legal, to hold money and make loans for hemp projects authorized by the pilot programs,” said Jonathan Miller, of Lexington’s Frost Brown Todd Attorneys and advisor to the Kentucky Hemp Industry Council.

    Some Kentucky bankers recently met with hemp industry leaders and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. They talked about a hemp education curve. Bankers must understand the differences between a legal hemp crop and an illegal marijuana crop. Officials discussed with bankers how to verify the people who approach them for loans for hemp projects, “so they’re not hesitant about getting involved in any of those businesses,” said Stamper.

    Still, some bankers worry getting involved in hemp might bring the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to their door or lead to a crackdown from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    “That is something we’re working through right now,” Miller acknowledged.
    But, Miller said, from an investment standpoint, now is the time to to get in on the ground floor of the state’s hemp industry.

    “Given our history of world leadership in hemp a century ago, our soil and climate and the political support for it today, I would think investing in Kentucky hemp would be a wise bet,” he said.

    Large and small banks have shown interest in hemp. Smaller banks might be in the best position to get into the business since they’re experienced with loaning to small farmers and business owners.

    Pages: 1 2

    – See more at: