VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) – Hemp History Week has come to an end, but the product is anything but history in Kentucky.
The 2018 Farm Bill passage took hemp off the list of controlled substances. Ever since then, the possibilities for the crop have become limitless.
Kirstin Bohnert, a founder of the Kentucky Hemp Heritage Alliance, says that in the past, hemp was being used in the cotton industry for bagging and roping.
But when the U.S. was able to source tax-free fibers from Indonesia, the hemp industry quickly suffered.
Later, due to it’s confusion with marijuana, the plant was eventually placed on the controlled substances list.
It’s rebuilding now that hemp is no longer classified as a controlled substance.
“There’s plenty of farmers in Kentucky that are willing to take that leap and try something new. Luckily through the hemp pilot program, it’s been able to prove that hemp is a viable crop, and Kentucky farmers can grow it and make an industry out of it,” said Bohnert.
But there’s still more work to be done in pushing this plant forward, which all starts with education.
Sunday marked the end of Hemp History Week, where folks had a chance to visit parts of the Hemp Trail, which has roots in 14 Kentucky counties.
In Woodford County, a pilot plot of hemp was planted about two weeks ago at the Jack Jouett House, which is open for everyone to visit and learn more about.
“Through education and letting people know what a useful plant it is, events like this on the Heritage Hemp Trail have really reached a lot of people to help break down that stigma,” said Susan Hughes, executive director of the Jack Jouett House.