Effort to win release of hemp seeds stalls

5/14/2014 11:45 AM
By Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky Agriculture Department official says talks aimed at securing a shipment of imported hemp seeds have stalled.

The seeds from Italy are meant for use in pilot projects that would be Kentucky's first hemp crop in decades.

Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff to state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, said Wednesday that federal drug enforcement officials want the state to apply for a permit to win release of the seeds held by customs officials.

She says a permit is unnecessary and would put undue requirements on the test projects. She points to the new federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow the growing of hemp.

The Drug Enforcement Administration did not offer an immediate response when contacted.

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