Hemp planting delayed in Kentucky amid legal fight, hearing on Friday

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by Bruce Schreiner/WHAS11

Associated Press

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 11:46 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A hearing has been scheduled for Friday afternoon in the case of Kentucky Ag. Department suing the federal government.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. in the chamber of Judge Heyburn, the Federal Judge who ruled in favor of several same-sex couples, forcing the  Commonwealth to acknowledge their legal marriages.

Heyburn also ruled on Wednesday that Kentucky has to pay $70,000 in legal fees for a couple, but he immediately stayed his ruling, pending the outcome of the appeal by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says a hemp planting has been postponed because of a standoff between his agency and federal officials over a detained shipment of imported hemp seeds.

A hemp plot was scheduled to be planted Friday in Rockcastle County as the long-banned crop makes a limited comeback in Kentucky.
 
The seeds were shipped in from California for a project involving a group of military veterans interested in farming.
 
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Thursday his office delayed the planting due to the legal standoff with federal drug enforcement officials. The state agriculture department sued the federal government Wednesday, seeking the release of hemp seeds from Italy being held by customs officials.
 
Comer says he's disappointed by the delay but hopes the seeds will go in the ground soon.

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