Kentucky installs industrial hemp agriculture; more states to follow

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(NaturalNews) Allowing full-spectrum hemp agriculture would be a boon for mankind and mother Earth. Hemp is one of the easiest plants to cultivate, requiring little or no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. And beyond the growing awareness and use of marijuana's medical miracles, hemp plants offer a wide range of solutions to the planet's pollutions.

Those solutions include: producing paper that doesn't require cutting down trees and pulping them with chemicals that pollute waterways, and creating plastics that are strong and durable yet biodegradable without BPA and other chemicals.

Hemp fibers can produce textiles that can be used to make non-allergenic clothing. Hemp can even produce lightweight, non-toxic easy-to-use building materials.

Hemp cultivation is a cash crop enterprise that can be used by farmers to rotate with their other crops to enrich the soil, and harvest in around six months (

Someone once asked a U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) official, why not allow industrial hemp like Canada does? He answered that it's too difficult to test (huh?) for THC, the compound that yields the establishment's feared and despised "high," with greater awareness. Can't have that.

Farmers, activists and eventually the state agricultural department of Kentucky have been urging and pushing for a return to hemp farming for several years now. Prior to the 1950s, Kentucky was a leader in producing this cash crop. Then, the federal government once again clamped down on all forms of hemp, leaving some farmers destitute.

But the sun also rises. Section 7606 of the 2014 Federal Farm Bill allows universities and agricultural departments to cultivate hemp for research purposes, provided that the state they're in permits it. Well, Kentucky has been ready and waiting. But first, the DEA stepped in and created a totally unnecessary flap.

Kentucky vs. the DEA

After years of urging and begging with some lobbying efforts, the open door for Kentucky's hemp agriculture had arrived again. They watched and probably anticipated each phase of the federal government's passage of the Farm Bill with clause 7606 intact through the House, the Senate and now the Executive branches.

So they placed an order to Italy for 250 pounds of hemp seeds. It arrived in Chicago and went through customs without an issue. But when the shipment arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, the DEA stepped in and seized the seeds, contending that it is still part of a Schedule I substance.

But the Kentucky Agricultural Department refused to fold or even compromise with the DEA feds, at first.

After some back and forth and promises that the DEA would return the seeds, it still didn't. So the Kentucky Department of Agriculture sued the federal government, all the way up to Eric Holder, the US Attorney General that has the DEA as one of his departments.

"I hated to do that, but we've been misled and it's obviously a stall tactic," said state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. "We have farmers who wanna grow it. We have processors who wanna process it. We have researchers who wanna research it. We bought and paid for the seeds."

The lawsuit drew the attention and ire from a few federal Congressional and Senate members who helped push through Clause 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Apparently, that was all that was needed as a tipping point, forcing the DEA to expedite the importation permit themselves and return the impounded seed shipment. This was a test case. Now the other states who wish to pursue industrial hemp agriculture can begin.

Sources for this article include:

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