As it passes midnight in Kentucky, Senate Bill 50 officially becomes law. The measure, which legalizes industrial hemp in the state, recently passed the Senate and House, giving the governor until April 6th at 11:59PM to either sign the bill into law, veto it, or let it become law. With no veto or signature, and with it now being April 7th, the bill has officially become law.
Under this new measure, hemp production is now legal in Kentucky. However, with the federal government still seeing hemp as a schedule 1 drug next to the likes of heroin and other dangerous substances, Kentuckians will need to wait until a federal change to take place to begin production.
However, Kentucky’s U.S. Senators, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell (the Republican Senate minority leader), have stated that they will work diligently to grant a federal waiver to Kentucky to grow hemp now that this measure has passed. Both lawmakers are also working on federal legislation to end federal hemp production, immediately allowing a state like Kentucky to begin growing hemp.
Kentucky is the 9th state in the U.S. to legalize hemp.