Henry Ford found steel's opposition to be tougher than his hemp bumper.
Editor's Note: February 2013 found Clinton to be the first in Western Kentucky to support hemp. The product has stuttered in recent years.
CLINTON, KY. Feb. 5, 2013 - Last night, Clinton became the first city in West Kentucky to support Hemp. At its regular monthly meeting, the Clinton City Council voted 6-0 to issue letters of support to top federal and state officials on their efforts to re introduce industrial hemp into Kentucky as a new cash agri business crop.
This action came after the city council studied the issue with information and data from a University of Kentucky research white paper. The UK study "Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky" presented key facts that spurred the City Council to move in support the re introduction of industrial hemp back into Kentucky's economy.
Fact No. 1
If just 22 of Kentucky's 90 agricultural counties went into industrial hemp business, approximately 17,348 jobs would be created and $396 million in worker earnings generated yearly.
The UK study stated that "If one processing facility and one industrial hemp paper pulp plant were established ... industrial hemp would have an economic impact of 771 full time equivalent jobs and $17,600,000 in worker earnings.
What Fact No. 1 means to the Purchase: In the 8 counties of the Jackson Purchase this could mean roughly 5,000 new agri business jobs. Hickman County and the River Counties of Ballard, Carlisle and Fulton, could be in line for over 2,000 of these new jobs. Jobs could come from 4 new garment factories, with 200 to 300 new jobs each. For clothing manufacturing, hemp would replace cotton.
Another 800 jobs could come from the building of a new paper mill to process hemp filter into paper.
Hemp can have a positive environmental impact on all western Kentucky counties. Hemp requires very few pesticides and is a great crop for farm lands under drought stress. Hemp requires less water then traditional row crops.
Using current yields, prices, and production technology from other areas that have grown hemp, Kentucky farmers could earn a profit of approximately $320 per acre of hemp planted for straw production only or straw and grain production, $220 for grain production only, and $600 for raising certified seed for planting by other industrial hemp growers.
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer is leading the legislative effort make hemp legal again in Kentucky. Standing with him are US Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, US Representatives John Yarmuth (D) and Thomas Massie (R).
Kentucky Senate Bill 50 is expected to come before a Senate Committee this Thursday. It is expected to pass out of committee and go to the full Senate.
Also supporting industrial hemp in Kentucky's legislative halls are the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO).
Hemp as a new crop in Kentucky could go a long way of introducing a totally new taxing and income stream into the states revenue coffers.
At this writing, Lexington-Fayette County and Spencer County in Central Kentucky are the only other two local units of government to vote for the re introduction of hemp as a major cash crop in Kentucky.