Hemp Seeds Expected To Be Released By Friday

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "They're sitting here worried about hemp, that's going to go to research universities. It makes no sense!" said a fiery Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner, James Comer.

Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer said when his office received an import permit from the DEA Tuesday, he thought hemp seeds taken at the Louisville Airport earlier this month, would be released. On Wednesday attorneys from his office still had to meet with federal officials in court.

"That is an agricultural crop with no THC. It has no hallucinogenic affects. There's no reason in the world for the Department of Justice and the DEA to be spending this amount of resources," added Comer.

Wednesday's court hearing resulted in a federal judge ordering the release of that crop within 48 hours. Though it may take a little longer to have an economic effect on the state, experts said it could be just the start of a profitable industry.

"If you actually look at the number of Kentuckians with jobs relative to people in other states with jobs, we're actually in the bottom ten percent of all states adults with jobs. Plenty of need for job growth. Whether it be the automotive industry, or industrial hemp we need to be taking all available jobs," said WKU Economics Professor, Brian Strow.

The 250 pounds of seeds set to be released are slated to go to state universities for different research projects, where they'll be studied up and down to find the best way to help the commonwealth.

"There's been research in other countries that suggests that you can plant hemp on brown fields, and it helps re-mediate the soil from toxins in the soil. It consumes a lot of carbon. Learn enough for a whole new industry in Kentucky that will help family farmers and create badly needed manufacturing jobs," said Comer.

The promise of releasing the seeds within the next couple days means the crop should be in the ground before the planting window closes on June first.

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