McConnell trumpets hemp growth in tour of UK Ag facility

Senate Majority Leader sees progress, obstacles
Posted at 7:28 AM, Jul 03, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during a hemp tour Tuesday at the University of Kentucky's Spindletop farm.

They were joined by Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, who is calling the Bluegrass Region the "hemp epicenter" of the United States.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of agricultural hemp, removing it for a list of controlled substances.

In 2019, 1,000 Kentucky farmers will grow industrial hemp.

Perdue said he was impressed with the progress on display, but McConnell warned challenges remain.

"We have FDA, which I had a meeting with last week. We need some guidance from them so we can properly label the product," the Senate Majority Leaders said. "There are some EPA issues that Commissioner Quarles is working on. And finally the big issue of USDA regulations and crop insurance."

McConnell and Perdue also tour hemp facilities in Louisville and Shelbyville.