Attorneys for the state of Kentucky are in federal court Friday afternoon attempting to have the United States government release hemp seeds imported from abroad that were intended to be used in pilot growing projects.
It became lawful to use industrial hemp in Kentucky starting in 2013, and a farm bill signed by US President Barack Obama earlier this year paved the way for states to grow the crop for research. The US Drug Enforcement Agency nevertheless seized around 250 pounds of hemp seeds shipped from Italy to the University of Kentucky earlier this month, prompting state officials to turn around and sue that agency and others.
Even though the Department of Justice has started to recognize legal hemp cultivation, a federal law enforcement official told the US News & World Report this week that importing seeds still requires the state to abide by the Controlled Substances Act.
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