After some back and forth with the Drug Enforcement Administration, including Kentucky agriculture officials filing suit against the federal government, the contested hemp seeds have made it to the Bluegrass State.
Via USA Today:
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The state Department of Agriculture received its first legal shipment of hemp seeds in years at around noon Friday with about a week to go before it's too late to plant.
After federal officials detained the seeds for more than a week at Louisville International Airport, agriculture officials obtained a federal Drug Enforcement Administration permit late Thursday, the last federal hurdle to getting the seed.
As previously reported by Campaign for Liberty, a pro-hemp amendment offered by Representatives Jared Polis (CO-2), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), and Thomas Massie (KY-4) was successfully attached to the Farm Bill and turned into law. The amendment allows "colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for agricultural and research purposes" and only applies "in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already allowed by state law, like Kentucky and Colorado."
In a press release sent after the Polis/Blumenauer/Massie amendment passed the House 225-200 in June 2013, Representative Massie stated, “Industrial hemp is used for hundreds of products including paper, clothing, rope, and can be converted into renewable bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass.... It’s our goal that the research this amendment enables would further broadcast the economic benefits of the sustainable and job-creating crop."
Here's hoping such research quickly achieves this goal, as C4L members and other grassroots activists continue working to remove federal restrictions on hemp and give state and local economies some much-needed help.