LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The push for hemp farming in Kentucky has been endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He said Thursday that legalizing the crop would be a “positive development” for the state’s economy. The support came after McConnell had extensive conversations with fellow Senator Rand Paul and State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
"Commissioner Comer has assured me that his office is committed to pursuing industrialized hemp production in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement's marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use,” said McConnell in a statement.
Lew White is a part owner of Electric Ladyland in the Highlands. His shop sells hemp products, but he says they’re imported from Canada. He’s a supporter of farming the crop locally.
“Then it would be products that we can use as raw materials from our state and that would be a wonderful thing,” White said.
State Police warn it could encourage illegal marijuana cultivation and complicate their efforts to stop it.
Even if the Kentucky approves the measure, it would need a waiver from the federal government which bans hemp plants.