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Hemp Means New Jobs - Potential for Rural West Kentucky


Clinton, KY. April 8, 2013:

With six minutes to go before the end of the 2013 House of Representatives, the House passed Senate Bill 50. This was the legalization of industrial Hemp for Kentucky farmers. It was also one of the top three bills in this Legislature to gain so much media and public attention.

Governor Beshear did not sign the bill, nor did he veto it. These were two options that he could have chosen. Instead, to make a public statement, he chose to allow the bill to become law without his approval.

The City of Clinton was the third city in Kentucky to come out publicly to support the Hemp legislation. Clinton City councilman, Ivan Potter, explains, “West Kentucky has a long heritage and growing experience with industrial hemp. We see new jobs coming into our counties in the Jackson Purchase. With thousands of acres under crops such as corn, wheat, soybean adding a powerful new cash crop such as hemp means a new diversified future for our farmers and their communities. “

Potter added, “I will seek out help from our farm leadership community as well as our local and regional law enforcement community to make sure we have an unified regional and local plan to grow hemp once the President grants Kentucky a special waver from federal law.”

Senator Rand Paul,(R ) and Congressman John Yarmuth (D ) are now the spearhead for Kentucky to move this hemp story forward. They both are generating massive support in Washington DC to work with the White House to gain special waver status for industrial hemp.

Also giving federal support to help in the cause for Kentucky hemp are Senator Mitch McConnell (R ) and Congressman Thomas Massie (R ).

“Our federal delegation is showing tremendous leadership,” Kentucky  Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer said. “They recognize this is not a partisan issue. It’s about jobs.” 

Potter went on to say, “I feel very confident that Senator Paul and Congressman Yarmuth will be successful in their task. Both men bring to the White House a unique opportunity for the President to be bold in creating a new and yet historical approach to rural America economic development. Jobs are the final byproduct of this opportunity. Maybe this hemp issue could become a model for all political parties to approach common sense for doing the peoples business.”

Accordingly to a UK study on economic development for industrial hemp, jobs are created not only from farming but manufacturing processes as well.

If just 22 of Kentucky’s 90 agricultural counties went into industrial hemp business, approximately 17,348 jobs would be created and over $396 million in worker earnings generated yearly.

In the 8 counties of the Jackson Purchase this could mean roughly 5,000 new agri business jobs.    

Hickman County and the Mississippi River Counties of Fulton, Carlisle, and Ballard could be in line for over 2,000 of these new jobs.

Potter, again spoke to the issue, “If we can grow hemp again in Kentucky, the 21st Century will show that this one event led to a new age of progressive growth for all of Western Kentucky. New jobs means new growth. With growth we will have new money for our schools and way of life to keep families whole to work in our rural parts of Kentucky.”

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