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Department of Agriculture to host first Hemp Summit Dec. 4 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center


The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will host a Kentucky Hemp Summit on Dec. 4 for those interested in learning more about the hemp industry, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced.

“We decided to host a Kentucky Hemp Summit so that Kentuckians can learn more about this crop that connects the Commonwealth’s past to its future,” Quarles said. “The Summit will feature a wide variety of engaging sessions on topics such as obtaining a license, growing the crop, and challenges this new industry faces as we transition from a research phase to full commercial production.

“This Hemp Summit is another step toward our goal of making Kentucky the epicenter of the hemp industry in the United States.”

KDA will hold the Kentucky Hemp Summit on Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The event is designed to provide applicants, growers, and processors an opportunity to learn more about hemp production, the hemp industry, Kentucky’s plans for 2020, and the new online application process. In addition to educational sessions, the Summit will feature a tradeshow.

Those interested in requesting tradeshow space can contact Alisha Morris at alisha.morris@ky.gov.

Early registration costs $25, includes lunch, and can be completed online at kyagr.com/marketing/hemp-summit.html. The deadline for early registration is Nov. 20. KDA will accept late registrations until Nov. 26 for $50 (includes a $25 late fee). Pre-registration is required; on-site registration will not be available.

“The Kentucky Hemp Summit comes at an important time for the industry, especially in light of the proposed USDA guidelines released recently,” Quarles said. “Though we’ve experienced rapid growth these last few years, we are still in the infancy of restoring this crop. Challenges persist, ranging from federal uncertainty regarding cannabidiol to banking and lending issues.

“It is important that all involved are clear-eyed about the opportunities and challenges ahead, and the Summit gives us a chance to talk about the future of this exciting industry.”

The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, gave hemp growers increased access to USDA programs, and outlined the minimum requirements a state regulatory framework must contain to earn approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The federal Risk Management Agency announced in August that certain hemp growers may obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program in 2020.

For more information about KDA’s hemp research pilot program, go to kyagr.com/hemp.

From Kentucky Department of Agriculture


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