Kentucky

Kentucky: First Legal Hemp Crop In 70 Years Harvested

HempHarvestUniversityOfKentucky2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The first legal hemp harvest in Kentucky in 70 years has begun at the University of Kentucky. Researchers on Tuesday cut their test plot, which will now remain in the field for two weeks.

The 10-foot stalks will remain on the ground at Spindletop Farm for "retting," the process through which they break apart, said David Williams, an agronomist at the UK College of Agriculture, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader.

"Microbes break down the tissues of the stem," Williams said. "The outside tissues form the bast fibers and the inside form the hurd fibers."

Thirteen varieties of hemp were sown this spring at the University; each will be evaluated for fiber and seed production. More test plots are at other universities in the state, including Murray State.

"It was a good growing season for many crops, not just hemp," Williams said. "Precipitation was excellent this year and more than adequate for growth.

"The only downside to the growing season was that we planted a little bit late, but I don't think that had much effect on the crop," he said.

The seeds had been held up for two weeks in Louisville by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which blocked them because the Kentucky Department of Agriculture didn't have a controlled substance import permit.

D.C.: Hemp Industries Association To Present 21st Annual Conference Sept. 21-22

HempIndustriesAssociationConference2014

The 21st annual conference of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) will be held Sunday, September 21 and Monday, September 22 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC.

Business leaders and farmers in the hemp industry in North America and from abroad will meet during the two-day event to discuss strategies and plans to legalize industrial hemp and return hemp to the American agrarian landscape once again.

The conference will include expert speakers, hemp exhibits and sales, luncheon, silent auction, networking dinner, presentations, panel discussion and updates on industry developments and expanding markets for hemp products.

Speakers from the hemp industry and movement will present at the conference including Doug Fine, author of Hemp Bound, John Roulac, President of Nutiva, Steve Allin, featured speaker and author of Building with Hemp, Christina Volgyesi, Marketing Director of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, and other leaders in the hemp industry.

The 21st conference occurs at a significant moment in hemp history, as the first legal hemp harvests in the U.S. in decades will be taking place in Colorado, Kentucky and Vermont this fall. Exceeding $581 million in 2013 annual sales according to SPINS market data and HIA estimates, hemp is among the fastest growing categories for food and consumer products in the U.S.

In addition to presentations on hemp manufacturing, agronomy, and other industry issues, a special panel discussion focusing on new cannabidiol (CBD) research and its market potential will take place on Sunday.

U.S.: Senators To Introduce Groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reform Bill

CriminalJusticeReformRacialEquality

REDEEM Act Helps Formerly Incarcerated Seal Conviction Records, Eliminates Barriers to Employment, Public Assistance, and Re-Entry

Drug Policy Alliance: Criminal Justice Reform is Good Policy and Good Politics

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday will introduce the REDEEM Act, groundbreaking bipartisan legislation that makes it easier for formerly incarcerated individuals to reintegrate into society and provides greater rights to juvenile offenders.

The amendment comes on the heels of an amendment offered several weeks ago by Senators Booker and Paul that would prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from arresting and prosecuting people in compliance with their state medical marijuana laws. Senator Paul also has a bill with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that would provide federal judges more discretion in sentencing.

A bipartisan bill reforming mandatory minimums introduced by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting floor action.

“The fact that two young and rising stars of both parties, both rumored to be considering future White House runs, are so passionately embracing criminal justice reform shows how politically popular these issues have become,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Voters want reform and smart elected officials know that. This legislation is good policy and good politics.”

U.S.: House Tells DEA Hands Off State Hemp Programs

HempSeeds

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. House of Representatives early Friday cut off funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration's interference in state-legal industrial hemp research, a sharp rebuke to the beleaguered agency less than a month after DEA agents seized hemp seeds meant for Kentucky's pilot program.

Two hemp-related amendments to the DEA's funding bill passed, reports Ryan J. Reilly at The Huffington Post. The amendments, introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) stop the Department of Justice, including the DEA, from blocking states' importation of hemp seeds, and from stopping the states from implementing laws authorizing industrial hemp cultivation made legal under this year's federal Farm Bill.

Massie's amendment passed 246-162, and Bonamici's passed 237-1780. The Senate will likely look at its own appropriations bill for the DEA and DOJ, and the House hemp amendments would have to survive that joint conference before taking effect. The House also voted to cut off funding for the DEA's medical marijuana raids in states where it is legal.

"The DEA has more important things to do than interfere with legal activities at the state level," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) "We need to remove this cloud of uncertainty."

Kentucky: Hemp Seeds Legally Planted For First Time In Decades

HempPlantingUniversityOfKentucky

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hemp has been legally planted in Kentucky for the first time in decades, signaling the tentative return of a crop which once was a lucrative industry for the Bluegrass State.

University of Kentucky researchers on Tuesday planted a small crop of 13 varieties of hemp seeds, finally released last week by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after pointless bureaucratic wrangling.

Although industrial hemp was an indispensable crop for Kentucky through World War II, it was the first time it had been legally planted in the state since the 1970s, reports Janet Patton at the Herald Leader.

University of Kentucky agronomists RIch Mundell and David Williams will supervise the hemp study. The plants are expected to sprout in 7 to 10 days and will be harvested in October. Each variety will be evaluated for its seed and fiber production.

"It's exciting to be working on something different, and we're very hopeful it will be successful," said Williams. "Generally speaking, compared to some crops, it's not difficult to grow.

"But there are some things that are unknown today," Williams continued. "In particular, differences in the varieties of hemp we have access to today."

While much of the economic interest in hemp decades ago was based on its fiber, now there's more focus on the seeds, which can be press for a nutritious oil which contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) Omega 3 and 6.

U.S.: Minority Leader McConnell Slams DEA For Blocking Kentucky Hemp Research

FireMicheleLeonhart(DEA)

Political Battle Builds as DEA Faces Growing Scrutiny for Slew of Scandals: Use of NSA Data to Spy on Virtually All Americans, Massacre of Civilians in Honduras, and Systematic Pattern of Fabricating Evidence

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart Increasingly At Odds With President Obama, Justice Dept., and Congress

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has weighed in on the political firestorm that has ensued since the DEA recently seized legal hemp seeds bound for a Kentucky hemp research program that was approved by Congress. McConnell told Politico Wednesday night, “It is an outrage that DEA is using finite taxpayer dollars to impound legal industrial hemp seeds.”

The Kentucky Agriculture Department is suing the agency.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S., though hemp products can be produced and sold in the U.S. Some states have made its cultivation legal, but these states -– North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, California, Montana, West Virginia and Vermont -– have not yet begun to grow it because of resistance from the DEA.

A few months ago, Congress legalized the production of hemp for research purposes in states that want to allow it. But when Kentucky recently tried to import hemp seeds to begin production, the DEA seized the seeds. Kentucky officials, including Kentucky Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were angered.

Kentucky: Italian Hemp Seeds Facing One Final Hurdle Before Being Planted

HempSeeds

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A shipment of Italian hemp seeds has made it safely to Kentucky, where the law was recently changed to allow the growing of industrial hemp for university research projects, but federal customs officials in Louisville have so far refused to release the 250 pounds of seeds to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The confusion is keeping the hemp seeds from getting to research project locations in the state, according to Kentucky officials, reports Kevin Willis at WKY Public Radio.

"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," said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff at the Kentucky Agriculture Department.

VonLuehrte said she believes Customs officials will release the hemp seeds within "the next 24 hours."

The shipment of seeds from Italy is meant to supply three pilot hemp research projects in the Bluegrass State. VonLuehrte said the Department of Agriculture already has a prior shipment of hemp seeds ready to plant next Friday in Rockcastle County, home to a pilot hemp project being conducted by Kentucky State University.

Kentucky: Lawmakers Advance Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Bill

CBDOilForAutismAndEpilepsy

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would legalize the use of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat seizures associated with severe forms of childhood epilepsy, unanimously passed a key committee in the Kentucky Legislature on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 124, which passed the Kentucky Senate last week, would allow children with severe seizures to be treated with CBD oil, a non-psychoactive marijuana extract, reports Mollie Reilly at The Huffington Post. Under the language of the measure, patients would be treated as part of FDA trials (which of course could introduce long bureaucratic delays into the process) or under the recommendation of state research hospitals.

The measure cleared the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote during Wednesday's hearing.

Rita Wooton, who said her four-year-old son Eli suffers from up to 40 seizures a day, was moved to tears by the bill's advancement. "When I started this roller coaster ride two months ago, I never thought this would be feasible for any of us," Wooton said, reports Theo Keiteh at WAVE. "We're just really super excited that this is coming here -- soon."

The bill now goes to the full House, where Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo said it should have easy sailing.

Kentucky: Senate Unanimously Passes CBD Cannabis Oil Bill

KentuckyStateSenatorJulieDenton

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

For the first time in history, the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill which would legalize the medical use of marijuana-derived CBD oil.

The oil, which is useful in controlling seizures, including those among children with uncontrollable epilepsy, is extracted from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is not psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for the "high" from marijuana.

Senate Bill 124, sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton (R-Louisville) would allow the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville medical schools to conduct research and allow anyone enrolled in a U.S. FDA trial to be treated with CBD oil, reports Gregory A. Hall at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

"This is not a partisan issue; it's a people issue," Sen. Denton said, reports Theo Keith at WAVE3 News. "During the session, there's been a lot of education going on."

Kentucky: Medical Marijuana Bill Approved By House Health and Welfare Committee

KentuckyTheBluegrassState

HB 350, the Cannabis Compassion Act, would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to access and use medical marijuana without fear of arrest

The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana by a vote of 9-5, following a public hearing.

The Cannabis Compassion Act, or HB 350, introduced by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) and co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Tom Burch (D-Louisville), would permit licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana, and it would establish regulations to operate a limited number of medical marijuana compassion centers and testing facilities.

This is the first time an effective medical marijuana bill has passed a committee in the Kentucky Legislature. A similar bill, SB 43, was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville).

“Patients suffering from a wide range of medical conditions are grateful to have earned this committee’s support on HB 350,” said Matt Simon, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Chairman Burch and his committee have taken a stand in favor of protecting seriously ill Kentuckians, and they should be applauded for doing so.”

Kentucky: House Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Bill on Thursday

KentuckyMarijuana

HB 350, the Cannabis Compassion Act, would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to access and use medical marijuana without fear of arrest

Thursday - high noon - at the Capitol! The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Thursday, February 27, at 12 noon ET on a bill that would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The hearing will be held in Room 169 of the Kentucky Capitol Annex Building.

HB 350, known as the Cannabis Compassion Act, introduced on February 10 by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), a registered nurse, is the first effective medical marijuana bill ever introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. It would allow licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana.

It would also establish safety compliance facilities and permit one medical marijuana compassion center for every 100,000 state residents. Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville) introduced a similar measure, SB 43, earlier this year.

Kentucky: Medical Marijuana Hearing Postponed, Rescheduled For February 27

KentuckiansForMedicinalMarijuana

The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee has postponed a public hearing on a bill that would allow patients suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS top use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

The hearing on HB 350, the Cannabis Compassion Act, originally scheduled for Thursday, is now rescheduled for February 27.

HB 350, known as the Cannabis Compassion Act, introduced on February 10 by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), a registered nurse, was the first effective medical marijuana bill ever introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. It would allow licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana.

It would also establish safety compliance facilities and permit one medical marijuana compassion center for every 100,000 state residents. Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville) introduced a similar measure, SB 43, earlier this year.

“The science is clear that medical marijuana can provide significant benefits to people suffering from a variety of debilitating conditions,” said Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “If physicians think their patients would benefit from medical marijuana, politicians should not interfere. Kentuckians do not want seriously ill people to be treated like criminals for trying to improve the quality of their lives.”

Kentucky: House Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Bill on Thursday

KentuckyMarijuana

HB 350, the Cannabis Compassion Act, would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to access and use medical marijuana without fear of arrest

The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Thursday at 12 noon ET on a bill that would allow people suffering from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The hearing will be held in Room 169 of the Kentucky Capitol Annex Building.

HB 350, known as the Cannabis Compassion Act, introduced on February 10 by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville), a registered nurse, was the first effective medical marijuana bill ever introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. It would allow licensed patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana.

It would also establish safety compliance facilities and permit one medical marijuana compassion center for every 100,000 state residents. Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville) introduced a similar measure, SB 43, earlier this year.

Kentucky: Poll Shows 52% Favor Medical Marijuana

FreeTheWeedKentucky

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Kentucky residents favor medical marijuana by a margin of 15 percentage points, according to a new WHAS11/Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll released on Sunday night. According to the poll, 52 percent favor allowing the use of medical marijuana in Kentucky, while 37 percent oppose it and 12 percent are not sure.

Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville) sponsors Senate Bill 43, which would legalize the medicinal use of cannabis in Kentucky, as has been done in 20 other states, reports Joe Arnold at WHAS11. "The science is far on our side," Clark said. "Cannabis is medicine. It's medicine in its many forms."

Predictably, law enforcement opposes the bill, claiming it would be easy to abuse.

"It's very difficult to regulate," claimed Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer. "The laws are vague. They're not well thought out. So, there's a host of issues that go with it aside from it not being proven."

"You have of lot of testimony on both sides of folks saying it makes me feel better or doesn't," Brewer claimed, ignoring the fact that nobody's saying it doesn't. "But in the end, there's never been any scientific evidence that this is a viable medicine for out illnesses," he lied, ignoring thousands of scientific studies which show exactly that.

Kentucky: Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced In House

MedicalMarijuanaLeafDrawing

Legislation would allow people with debilitating medical conditions to access and use medical marijuana without fear of arrest

Similar bill already introduced in Senate

A bill that would allow seriously ill Kentuckians to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation was introduced in the House of Representatives last week. The “Cannabis Compassion Act,” or HB 350, was introduced by long-time lawmaker and registered nurse Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville). It is very similar to SB 43, which was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Perry Clark (D-Louisville) earlier this year.

The bill is the first effective medical marijuana bill ever to be introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives. HB 350 would allow patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV/AIDS, and other serious conditions to use medical marijuana with a recommendation from their doctor.

Patients and caregivers would be able to possess up to three ounces at a time and grow up to 12 plants per patient. The bill would also establish safety compliance facilities and would permit one medical marijuana compassion center for every 100,000 residents to ensure safe and reliable access for patients.

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