The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced plans to conduct some of the first U.S. hemp studies, which are now legal under the new farm bill.
The state will partner with universities to investigate different aspects of hemp cultivation, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said on Monday.
A provision in the farm bill that passed this month allows research on hemp in states that have legalized the crop. So far, that includes Kentucky and nine others.
Comer is investigating the legality of commercial production under the farm bill, but says the first year of the program will likely be devoted to research and development.
The Department of Agriculture and various research partners will oversee the five hemp projects.
The projects are expected to begin March 31 and will include:
University of Louisville – A study of hemp’s potential to detoxify polluted soil on former industrial land.
Kentucky State University – A study of the cultivation potential of a “Kentucky heirloom hemp seed.”
Murray State University – A study of the cultivation potential of European hemp varieties.
University of Kentucky – A study of hemp cultivation for medical applications.
University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University – A study of the basic agricultural aspects of hemp production, including production cost and machinery requirements.