Hemp legislation in House Bill 197 cleared the House in a 96-0 vote and now awaits the Senate.
House Bill 197, sponsored by House Agriculture Chair Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, would expand the definition to include the seeds of industrial hemp—formally called Cannabis sativa L.—derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids and isomers, among other components. That is the same definition found in the new U.S. Farm Bill, signed into law late last year, which removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Until last year hemp was outlawed nationwide since 1970 under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The 2014 federal Farm Bill, however, allowed states to engage in hemp research pilot programs under certain conditions. Industrial hemp has been grown in Kentucky since 2014 under a state-regulated research pilot program.
The committee also approved House Concurrent Resolution 43, also sponsored by Rep. Heath, which asks social media sites Facebook and YouTube and web marketplaces eBay and Amazon to revisit policies that some users say interfere with marketing of hemp-based products.
“Multiple industrial hemp business owners across the Commonwealth encountered an unnecessary obstruction in marketing efforts when their key marketing platforms, such as Facebook, unpublished their web pages” even through production and marketing of industrial hemp and hemp products are legal, the resolution states.
If passed by both chambers and signed by the governor, HCR 43 would formally request that the four internet companies “quickly reexamine their policies relating to industrial hemp businesses.”