Hemp pilot projects

Kentucky's industrial hemp research pilot projects generate data on production methods, seed varieties, harvesting and processing techniques, and marketing of hemp. The first pilot projects in 2014 were conducted by 19 individual farmers under the supervision of the KDA, and seven affiliated universities. The 2015 pilot program increased in scale with 95 growers and 26 processors; and included eight affiliated university projects.  In 2016, more than 135 growers and 4,500+ acres have been approved along with about 40 processors, and 15 affiliated university projects.

What is industrial hemp?

Industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa that is grown primarily as an agricultural crop. Products can be made from industrial hemp using the grain, fiber, and extracted cannabinoids. Some estimate that the global market for industrial hemp consists of more than 25,000 products.. … more

The rebirth of industrial hemp in Kentucky

During his tenure as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, James Comer championed the cause of restoring industrial hemp production to Kentucky. With bipartisan support, Comer led the successful effort to pass Senate Bill 50, which created a regulatory framework for hemp production in Kentucky. This allowed KDA to organize and conduct a research program under Section 7606 of the federal 2014 Farm Bill. Industrial hemp is NOT yet legal for the public to cultivate under state law.  In Kentucky, growers and processors apply to KDA and qualified applicants sign a contract with KDA authorizing them to conduct research on industrial hemp on behalf of KDA.  If you are interested in applying to the KDA Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, please visit KDA’s website here. Commissioner Ryan Quarles continues to champion the resurgence of this historic crop in Kentucky, and is currently working to refine and strengthen the pilot program.

Kentucky Proud hemp logo

The Kentucky Proud hemp logo is only used on products both grown and processed in Kentucky.

Contact us

To find out more about the growing industrial hemp industry in Kentucky, contact us at:
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
Industrial Hemp Program
(502) 573-0282, Option 1
hemp@ky.gov