LEXINGTON, KY (AP) - Some of the imported hemp seeds temporarily detained by U.S. customs officials in the spring turned into 10-foot-tall plants that have been harvested on a research plot in Kentucky.
Marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin has gained a foothold as a potential cash crop in the state.
A sickle bar mower pulled by a tractor made half a dozen swaths to cut the hemp patch at the University of Kentucky research farm Tuesday. Farmers wanting to learn more about the crop were among the curious who posed for pictures while holding leafy stalks.
Hemp's comeback started with the new federal farm bill. It allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow hemp growing.
But the reintroduction was delayed in the spring when hemp seeds imported from Italy were detained by U.S. customs officials in Louisville. The state's Agriculture Department sued the federal government, and the seeds were released after federal drug officials approved a permit.