FLORENCE, Kentucky – 4th District Congressional Candidate Thomas Massie joined James Comer, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture, at a rally at Lexington’s Red Mile calling for Frankfort to pass HB286, a bill allowing Kentucky farmers to grow industrial hemp.
“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” said Massie. “My wife and I are raising our children on the tobacco and cattle farm where my wife grew up. Tobacco is no longer a viable crop for many of us in Kentucky and we understand how hard it is for a family farm to turn a profit. Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”
Industrial hemp was Kentucky’s largest cash crop for over 100 years. It is used in hundreds of products including paper, lotions, clothing, canvas, rope, and can be converted into renewable bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. The U.S. Constitution is written on hemp paper.
Kentucky’s climate allows for two crop cycles per year which gives Kentucky’s struggling farmers access to another solid cash crop.
“We’ve seen that more and more people are asking why do we not grow hemp in Kentucky,” said Comer to radio station WFPL in January. “Why do we not grow hemp, industrial hemp, in the United States? And more and more people are beginning to realize what I’ve realized. That this is a viable option for Kentucky farmers.”
“I never had one person in the agriculture community say one negative thing about industrial hemp,” Comer continued. “Also never had one person in the law enforcement community ever say one negative thing about industrial hemp.”
Critics of industrial hemp mistakenly equate it to marijuana. The plants are cousins in the cannabis family but industrial hemp contains very small amounts of the intoxicant (THC) found in marijuana, making it ineffective as a drug. Hemp is grown in over 30 western nations including Canada, England and France.