Kentucky’s hemp program is just about open for business.
The state said that it will begin accepting applications for growers and processors wishing to receive a license to participate in the program beginning in mid-November.
According to the Associated Press, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said the application period for growers and processors will both begin on November 15 and run to March 15 the following year, with the state aiming to ultimately move toward a year-round application process.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in Congress legalized industrialized hemp on the federal level, clearing the way for states like Kentucky to cultivate a crop that has become even more in demand thanks to the popularity of CBD-based products. The Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, and gave the bulk of regulatory authority to the states.
Kentucky was a national leader in hemp production more than a century ago, and the state is eager to reach that status again, particularly given the ongoing decline of tobacco use in the United States. The state boasts that it was the first state to file a plan for industrial hemp, claiming that Quarles submitted it to the U.S.