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Kentucky Governor Allows Hemp Legislation to Become Law

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail, April 5, 2013 – On Friday, Kentucky became the ninth state to approve legislation designed to have industrial hemp become a legal crop in the U.S. once again. Kentucky joined the ranks of Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia when Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear withdrew the threat of vetoing the hemp bill which was approved by overwhelming majorities in House and Senate votes.

Gov. Beshear declined to sign the bill, SB 50. But since it was passed by the legislature last week and since the governor decided against the veto which state police officials wanted, the bill now becomes law.

In a statement Friday, Beshear explained that although he supports creating more opportunities for Kentucky’s farmers, “we have a tremendous drug problem in Kentucky, and I want to make sure that we don’t do anything that will increase that drug problem. I still share the same concerns our law enforcement officers have about the impact hemp cultivation may have on our drug eradication efforts The bottom line is that Senate Bill 50 won’t allow industrial hemp to be grown or sold unless and until the federal government takes the very big step of legalizing the crop in some way. If that happens, we will have time to work with the legislature and law enforcement to make any further changes necessary to ensure the public’s safety and alleviate those concerns. Therefore, I am allowing SB50 to become law without my signature.”

For details on the hemp bill, click here. For the pro-hemp-bill testimony provided by NAIHC board members, click here.

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