U.S. Sen. McConnell and Commissioner Quarles host USDA officials at Kentucky hemp forum in Louisville


By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Now

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., mentioned hemp has a lengthy and proud history in Kentucky and he envisions a vibrant future for it though addressing a forum Monday at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

McConnell and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles had been hosts for the hemp forum. They invited U.S. Division of Agriculture Below Secretary for Advertising and Regulatory Applications Greg Ibach and Danger Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre to update and hear straight from Kentucky hemp farmers, processors and suppliers with regards to the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill provisions that legalized the production of hemp.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue also participated through video.

L-R: Commissioner Quarles, Senator McConnell, USDA Below Secretary Ibach, and Administrator Barbre participate in hemp forum and press conference (offered photographs).

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky, as you know, has been a leader on this crop because the inception of the state’s pilot plan,” Perdue mentioned. “Leader McConnell and Commissioner Quarles fully grasp the value of this expanding crop in our broader farm economy and I’ve been clear about the will need to establish the regulatory framework for future certainty and chance in the production of industrial hemp.”

McConnell’s legislation in the 2018 Farm Bill has permitted hemp growers and processors to align with federal agencies to recognize the complete possible of hemp in an open marketplace.

Hemp has a outstanding history in the Bluegrass State,” McConnell mentioned. “From Henry Clay’s fields at the Ashland Estate to assisting the Greatest Generation in the Second Planet War, Kentucky has been at the forefront of hemp production in this nation.”

It is McConnell’s aim to see that take place once again and Quarles mentioned he will companion with him.

“The reality that USDA chosen Kentucky as its very first cease to study about hemp underscores that the Commonwealth is a national leader for this market,” Quarles mentioned. “I am extremely grateful to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for championing the legalization of hemp nationwide in 2018 and for his willingness to retain up the fight for our hemp neighborhood as we transition to the widespread commercialization of hemp.”

In December, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which incorporated McConnell’s initiative to legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. Final week, McConnell sent letters to numerous federal monetary regulators encouraging them to support hemp farmers and producers discover the complete financial chance of hemp.

In 2014, in collaboration with agriculture leaders in Kentucky and all through the nation, McConnell secured language in that year’s Farm Bill to authorize hemp investigation pilot applications, which is what Kentucky continues to operate below currently. He also applied his position as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee to insert provisions in yearly appropriations bills to assure that hemp made from the pilot applications could be transported, processed and marketed without the need of interference from the federal government.

Below the guidance of Quarles and his predecessor, now-U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-KY, these applications have permitted Kentucky farmers to each investigation the plant and to demonstrate its possible as a viable money crop.


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