Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Attempt to study hemp gets held up

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — The latest efforts to study the viability of industrial hemp are off to another slow start, stymied by bureaucratic delays and running headlong into a federal prohibition.

        The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission met Monday, well after the July 1 deadline set by the legislation this year that created it.

        While the University of Kentucky has applied to conduct research on the agronomy of growing hemp, the Department of Agriculture has not even created the regulations needed to grant a license for the research. And even then the Drug Enforcement Administration must be asked for a permit to conduct the research, which it does not have to grant.

        David Sparrow of the agriculture department at UK said it might be overly optimistic to think the first test plots could be planted in the spring. “That's a hard question to answer,” Mr. Sparrow said.

        Critics question whether industrial hemp production would be used to mask the growing of marijuana.


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- Attempt to study hemp gets held up
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