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Kentucky Hempsters explore hemp history with the Hemp Road Trip

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

The Kentucky Hempsters are teaming up with the Hemp Road Trip Bus (pictured above) on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 for an all-day road trip across historical hemp country in an effort to promote the ample history of the Kentucky hemp industry and educate others about the current initiatives taking place to re-ignite this antebellum industry.

“We look forward to teaming up with the Hemp Road Trip to promote the nascent hemp industry through a whole new perspective. Many people fail to realize that Kentucky hemp cultivation and manufacturing was the foundation of our state,” said Alyssa Erickson, Co-Founder of Kentucky Hempsters. “We’re excited to kick-start our historical hemp educational efforts and bring this forgotten economic driver to the forefront of our state’s reputation.”

The Hemp Road Trip is a group of hemp advocates from across the U.S. They’re following the presidential primaries and traveling cross country in a bus filled with items made from industrial hemp, including a hemp guitar signed by Willie Nelson, soap, clothing, rope, canvas and foodstuffs. The purpose is to educate Americans about a plant grown by our founding fathers, and help push for passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would remove hemp as a Schedule 1 drug and allow farmers the option to add this crop to their rotations. It will be a source for tens of thousands of American jobs.

Rick Trojan, farmer on the largest American hemp farm and founder of Hemp Road Trip grassroots campaign, said, “My hope is to educate our citizens and help push for the end of hemp prohibition in America- through the passing of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, currently in Congress. In last 4 weeks we’ve covered 7,000+ miles, over 18 states and the District of Columbia. Kentucky is a critical state on our tour. Not only does Kentucky have a rich history of hemp cultivation and industry, it’s only 1 of 9 states currently growing hemp. The Kentucky Hempsters are an important part of Kentucky’s resurgence, and we’re excited to have them host our Kentucky Hemp History Tour.”

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation is hosting the group for a tour of Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate in Lexington. This year the foundation is partnering with the Kentucky Hempsters to host a hemp symposium that will commemorate Henry Clay’s hemp legacy and recognize the pioneers of today’s growing industry to kick-off Hemp History Week on June 5.

“The state of Kentucky has had few stronger proponents of its economy and prosperity than Henry Clay. Hemp was at the center of Henry Clay’s personal economy and he believed it could be a key to his state’s as well and advocated staunchly for it throughout his career,” said Eric Brooks, Ashland curator and site manager. “Now, as hemp is reemerging as a potential catalyst to greater prosperity and economic security in Kentucky, there is no better time to revisit Henry Clay’s hemp legacy for inspiration and education.”

See full schedule below.

Start/Stop 1: 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Northside Historic District/Gratz Park Area

(Stand by for parking location, I'm going to scout out a good spot today or tomorrow)

Sites: Thomas January House (#2), Col. Thomas Hart Block, Thomas Hunt-Morgan House, Persickless (Persicolas) Scott House, The Winston Avery House & site of factory, Persickless' Scott Sons homes (Walter and James) & Scotts Alley (Miller Street), Thomas January's office building, original house and site of ropewalk, Mt. Hope (The Benjamin Gratz House), Morrison Hall, Gratz Park, original site of John Kerns and Thomas Pindell's Ropewalk's, Col. Thomas Residents Block on Mill Street (including Henry Clay's Law Office), and the Hunt-Morgan House.

Stop 2: 10:00 AM - 10:45 PM

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

120 Sycamore Road

Lexington, KY 40502

Stop 3: 11:10 PM -11:15 PM

Woodford County Hemp History Marker

Traveling West on Lexington Road (US-60), at the Intersection at Paynes Mill Road.

Stop 4: 11:50 PM -11:55 PM

Leestown Hemp Factory - Historical Hemp Marker #103

Buffalo Trace Distillery

113 Great Buffalo Trace (Off Wilkinson Blvd)

Frankfort, KY 40601

Stop 5: 12:00 PM -12:20 PM

Franklin County Hemp - Historical Hemp Marker #1164

Jim's Seafood Restaurant

950 Wilkinson Blvd

Frankfort, KY 40601

Stop 6: 12:30 PM -1:00 PM

Kentucky Historical Society

100 W. Broadway

Frankfort, KY 40601

Stop 7: 1:10 PM -1:25

Kentucky State Capitol

700 Capitol Avenue

Frankfort, KY 40601

Stop 8: 2:50 PM -2:55

Hemp Ridge Road - Junction of Frankfort Road (US-60) and KY 714 E. of Shelbyville

700 Capitol Avenue

Frankfort, KY 40601

Stop 9/Final: 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Farmington Historic Plantation

3033 Bardstown Road

Louisville, KY 40205

Interested in joining us for a Kentucky Hemp History tour? Contact us at and we'd be happy to accomodate your travels!

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