Kentucky Hemp Bill Passes General Assembly!
According to this early morning email from Katie Moyer, Hemp Commission (and Tireless Worker Bee), the Kentucky Hemp Bill--SB50--passed the House. Wow. Kentucky catches up to the 21st Century, at least in one area. There is hope!
Senate Bill 50, the Industrial Hemp Bill, just passed House of Representatives with a resounding 88-4 vote! The Senate agreed to minor changes to the original bill, and passed it 35-1. Only five people out of the entire General Assembly voted against the hemp bill!
There was a 4th and final amendment, but for the most part, the opposition backed down. The amendment to Senate Bill 50 may even empower the Hemp Commission more!
The State Police WILL NOT have any control over permits, they only do background checks and have the ability to do field testing. These are both functions that the State Police already does anyway, so it's basically the same as the original Senate Bill 50.
The Industrial Hemp Commission WILL stay under the Department of Agriculture, not the University of Kentucky. Ag Commissioner Comer's staff has pledged to work as hard in the future as they have done up to this point. Commissioner Comer and his staff have done an outstanding job of progressing the hemp movement and should be commended for their hard work!
The Hemp Commission appointees will remain the same. There was a possibility that several of us grassroots folks could lose our seat on the commission, but that stipulation was dropped.
The studies and research provisions were all dropped. The hemp commission will pay for any and all studies, but it's all at the discretion of the commission. If the commission feels that KY needs a 5 year study, we'll do that.
For the most part, the opposition to SB 50 backed down on their demands. The Industrial Hemp Commission WILL BE responsible for setting up the framework for hemp growers. I'm quite certain that the huge amounts of phone calls, emails, and messages from hemp supporters across the state had something to do with that!
The one and only major concession that was made was that Agriculture Commissioner Comer would have to step aside as chair of the Hemp Commission. He will take a seat as the Vice Chair, and we will elect a new chairman from the Hemp Commission membership. Commissioner Comer will still continue to be a huge part of this movement, and the staff at the Department of Agriculture will continue to work hard to help promote Kentucky hemp!!
Congratulations to all hemp supporters far and wide! If it wasn't for all the phone calls, emails, texts messages, and the sharing of information across social media, this bill would not have been a success! We did it together! Hemp Hemp Hooray!
P.S. Thank you cards, flowers, or hemp socks can be sent to 107 Corporate Dr, Frankfort KY 40601. Please give Commissioner James Comer a huge THANK YOU for making this issue a success!
Even Greg Stumbo, a major road-block, finally figured out he was not earning any points by continuing to block Industrial Hemp in Kentucky.