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Monday, January 14, 2013

Comer praises lawmakers, Ky. Chamber of Commerce for support of industrial hemp

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer recently addressed the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in Lexington on a variety of agriculture topics, including industrial hemp.

After his address on Friday Jan. 11, the Chamber Board voted unanimously to support the industrial hemp legislation. Comer says Senate Bill 50, filed by Senator Paul Hornback, has broad bi-partisan support in the General Assembly, and the Chamber’s endorsement will strengthen that coalition.

“When Kentucky’s leading voice for small businesses and economic development endorses a piece of legislation, lawmakers sit up and listen,” Comer said. “This office stands in full support of Senate Bill 50, and I am proud to join a bi-partisan group of legislators seeking to get government out of the way, allow the production of industrial hemp, and create jobs in Kentucky.”

Senate Bill 50 carries some powerful co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum, and Democrat Senators Robin Webb, Walter Blevins and Denise Harper-Angel. House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover has also publicly stated his support for industrial hemp legislation, along with many in his caucus. Comer, who revived and now chairs the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, stood with U.S. Senator Rand Paul months ago in support of the issue, and a majority of Kentucky’s federal delegation is now backing industrial hemp.

“It’s been a long, tough road to this point,” Comer said. “But because the people were overwhelming supportive, we now have legislation that could put Kentucky first in line for these jobs. We still have a tough fight ahead, but when you’ve won the people, you’ll win the day.”

From the Office of Agriculture Commissioner