LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky U.S. Rep. Andy Barr is looking ahead to what needs to happen for industrial hemp to take off.
The most important issue that needs to be addressed, according to the Republican congressman, changes to insurance and banking services.
“Because we don’t have a developed market yet and a lot of experience with industrial hemp, lenders remain somewhat reluctant to provide credit to those farmers, and we want to fix that,” Barr said. “Part of it is just getting more experience in industrial hemp, developing that marketplace so lenders know how to underwrite those loans, but part of it is legal as well.
“So we need the USDA to finish the rule-making process and have states put regulations in place that will allow an industrial hemp market to develop without compromising law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts.”
Barr says he offered an amendment to a marijuana banking amendment to limit the scope to just low-THC cannabis, which now is legal under the Farm Bill.