Hemp production underway in Kentucky

BURLINGTON, KY (FOX19) - The University of Kentucky has launched its industrial hemp pilot program aimed at restoring industrial hemp production.

For those that may not know, Hemp is the same plant species as marijuana -- but it contains little to no THC, that's the active ingredient in marijuana associated with the "high" sensation.

The farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February, legalized industrial hemp production in states that permit it...Kentucky being one of them.

Hemp, sometimes called marijuana's "sober cousin," has a long history in America and has been used in a wide range of household products, including paper, cosmetics and textiles.

American hemp production peaked in 1943, with more than 150 million pounds.  Production dropped to zero in the late-1950s as a result of rising anti-drug sentiment.

Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana.

Statewide, about 13 acres of hemp plots are expected to be planted in coming days, said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, Chief of Staff to State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. The State Agriculture Department is looking into possibly arranging more hemp seed shipments into the state.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.