Canadian Hemp Producer Eyes Location in Kentucky
In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal the President of Hemp Oil Canada Inc., Shaun Crew, indicated the company is looking to expand its operations by building a hemp processing plant somewhere in the State of Kentucky.
Crew said in his remarks his company is seriously looking into the prospect and wants assurances from the Federal Government that their operations will not be the subject of harassment by the DEA or any other federal agency. ““If I’m going to invest money in this state and this industry here, I need to know that the DEA’s not going to come swooping in with Blackhawks and take out the farmer that we contracted with or take out the processing facility that we built.”
In March, the Kentucky State Legislature legalized the growing of industrial hemp paving the way for growth of the cash crop, which is used in many products, many of which are already legally imported into the US, but cannot be legally processed here.
Despite this, Kentucky Attorney General and former Senate candidate Jack Conway has said industrial hemp growers could still be prosecuted in the state. Conway has been an opponent of industrial hemp legalization saying in his 2010 Senate run, “if there’s a difficulty in distinguishing between hemp and marijuana then we shouldn’t have hemp farming in Kentucky, because it’s more of a law enforcement issue about making certain we don’t let a gateway drug get into the marketplace.”
In a recent memorandum by the US Justice Department in response to several states’ legalization of recreational marijuana, it was made clear that will not pursue enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states with legalized marijuana. In spite of this, Hemp Oil Canada still want legal assurances.
While still technically considered a controlled substance by the feds, hemp does not contain THC, the active drug in marijuana, in significant enough quantities to be suitable for abuse, a point both Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have made in their push to legalize the crop at the federal level. The Senators are co-sponsoring legislation to be considered for inclusion in the 2013 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp at the federal level and both claim that industrial hemp would be a huge economic boon for the state and the region.
It is estimated Kentucky farmers could be cultivating hemp as early as next spring if all goes well. A spokesperson for Hemp Oil Canada indicated they have not yet decided where in Kentucky a prospective plant might be built.
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