Monday, April 25, 2016

Christian County Processor Providing a Market for Hemp

By Lisa Autry

A western Kentucky business is bringing industrial hemp to market. Kentucky Hemp Works has opened a processing facility in Christian County.
Owner Katie Moyer says workers are taking hemp seed and turning it into oil that can be used in a number of products, including salves and lip balms infused with the roots of the crop. She also says 'firestarters' and body lotions are in the works.
Kentucky Hemp Works is the first hemp processor to locate in western Kentucky. Some of the state’s farmers and universities are in their third year of testing industrial hemp as a potential cash crop.
"Quite frankly a lot of farmers aren't going to want to put seeds in the ground if they don't think that there's a market for it. So we need to develop those markets. We need to show farmers and elected officials that there is a market for these things," Moyer says.
Growing hemp without a federal permit was banned in 1970 due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana.
Hemp got a limited reprieve with the federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research.
According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the state has 35 processors participating in a pilot program allowed under the federal farm bill.

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