BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has been pushing for hemp for awhile now.
It became legal on the state level at the end of the 2013 legislative session.
"Hemp is a crop that's native to Kentucky. So, you know it will grow well in Kentucky. We have farmers that are willing to grow it, and the people of Kentucky are educated on the issue by of the margin that Senate Bill 50 passed the General Assembly last session," said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
Comer said the issue now is the federal government.
"The Department of Justice has issued different opinions that we interpret as meaning we can proceed with hemp production in Kentucky. Senator Rand Paul and I have written a letter to the Department of Justice requesting clarification on the issue," said Comer.
Opponents of hemp said it looks to much like marijuana and could contribute to illegal growth.
They suggested an alternate fiber kenaf, but Comer said it doesn't grow well in Kentucky.
"Kenaf is a sub-tropical plant. It will not grow in Kentucky. Murray State University did research on it, and everything they grew this year turned out great except the Kenaf," said Comer.
Comer said German automotive plants use hemp for dashboards and door panels,and Kentucky's Toyota plants could have the opportunity to do that as well.
"They would rather grow it in Kentucky right next to their factory than import it from Indonesia. It's a better story, they can say farmers helped produce parts for the automotive industry. It's greener, they don't leave as big a carbon footprint," said Comer.
Comer thinks you could see hemp in Kentucky as early as next year.