Kentucky gains permit for hemp seeds

A Kentucky Agriculture Department official says the state has received a federal permit to release an impounded shipment of hemp seeds for spring planting.

Holly Harris VonLuehrte is chief of staff to Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

She says the department anticipates getting the seeds by Friday.

Kentucky's pilot hemp projects for research were put on hold after the 250-pound seed shipment was stopped by U.S. customs officials in Louisville earlier this month.

The state's Agriculture Department sued the federal government in hopes of freeing the seeds.

Eight test projects are planned in Kentucky as part of a small-scale comeback for the long-banned crop.

Hemp's return was spurred by the new federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow hemp growing.

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