Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Congressman James Comer (R-KY) has filed the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill would remove industrial hemp from the list of Controlled Substances, ending federal prohibition and paving the way for a thriving American industry.
“I am honored to sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act because I know firsthand the economic viability of industrial hemp. Hemp has created new opportunities for family farmers and good paying jobs for American workers, especially in Kentucky,” said Comer.
This is the first bill Rep. Comer has filed since being elected to Congress. He tweeted a picture thanking his colleagues and bill co-sponsors - Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Thomas Massie, and Rep. Jared Polis - who were influential in crafting bill language. Comer relied heavily on the support from previous bill sponsor and Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie who suggested that the freshman congressman take the lead as sponsor.
"Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” said Massie. "I'm optimistic that we can get the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to the President's desk this Congress. In 2014, for the first time in over half a century, hemp was grown and harvested in Kentucky under the pilot programs allowed by the Polis-Massie-Blumenauer amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill. I look forward to working with Congressman Comer to build on that momentum to give our nation's farmers and manufacturers more opportunities to compete and succeed in the global economy. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bill introduced by Congressman Comer, who was instrumental in bringing the hemp industry to Kentucky as Agricultural Commissioner,” Massie added.
Comer served as Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture from 2012 - 2016, during which he championed state hemp legislation and launched the Kentucky Hemp Pilot Program. As congressman, he says he plans to make the federal deregulation of industrial hemp a top priority.
We've had the opportunity to visit with Comer several times and are eager to support his efforts as he advocates and promotes this new legislation. We look forward to seeing what he can accomplish for the American hemp industry as our representative.
Rep. James Comer pictured with Kentucky Hempsters co-founders,
Alyssa Erickson and Kirstin Bohnert.