Kentucky’s Big Vote

Kentucky 1 Kentucky’s Big VoteThis past Thursday, Senate Bill 50 was passed with an outstanding majority in both the Kentucky House and Senate. In the House, Kentucky delegates passed the bill by a vote of 88 to 4, in the Senate, the bill was further approved by a vote of 35 to 1. These kind of landslide victories as usually reserved for big decision bills - relief funds, education reform, health policy. Yet in Kentucky, something entirely different has gotten these lawmakers all on board, something, the rest of the world already profits from: hemp.   Hemp, or Cannabis stativa, can be viewed as a relative of marijuana. They are related species scientifically, but this doesn’t mean they necessarily share all together similar structure, especially when it comes to their molecular makeup. Hemp contains less than 1% THC - the psychoactive component of marijuana - making it an unlikely recreational drug as marijuana tends to contain between 3-15% THC. Refining this 1% of the drug would be cost inefficient to the point of proving an obsolete option, so the idea of industrial hemp sources spilling over to the black market is rather far fetching. Really, it doesn’t seem there are any side effects of possible negative outcomes from anyone engaging in its growth and sale. kentucky 2 Kentucky’s Big Vote The Congressional Resource Service states that the United States remains the only developed nation in the world “which fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop.” So what is the rest of the world been doing with all of this hemp they’ve been growing? They’re simply doing what humans have been for thousands of years. Instead of getting high off of hemp, it’s been used as a rich oil, nutrient-full seed and fiber for clothing, ropes and construction of houses. With this most recent bill, it seems Kentucky has become one of the few states to recognize the plethora of hemp possibilities and it also seems, they want to start capitalizing on it, soon.   Senate Bill 50 has been described as written to "establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” SB 50 is essentially seeking state funded study programs for the cultivation of industrial versions of the long-used fiber. James Comer, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, said that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky's congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp." These words are strikingly similar to those which were heard out of Washington State officials last week, while they tried to prove their own commitment to enforcing and acting upon marijuana legalization laws in ‘the right way.’  
Kentucky’s Big Vote 4.50/5 (90.00%) 4 votes

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