Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Update

March 22, 2013

Could hemp bill be on way back?

(Continued)

March 22, 2013 —

“We’re not going to support anything that would delay a (federal) permit and delay getting a permit would be doing a study,” Comer said.

Additionally, Comer said, making KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer — a vocal critic of the legislation — co-chair of the commission would also make it less likely the federal government would offer Kentucky a waiver to grow the plant.

But Hornback told the commission he has met with Adkins and House Caucus Chair Sannie Overly, D-Paris, about the proposed amendment and planned to meet with them again Friday.

He described the first meeting as “a very good, open discussion,” but added he told Adkins he couldn’t agree with all the changes proposed in the amendment. Still, Hornback said, he is “very hopeful we can work out something.’

Commission member John Riley, who describes himself as a hemp advocate and real estate broker from Spencer County, made no bones about his opposition to Adkins’ amendment.

“This is more than just an amendment,” Riley said. ‘This is a wholesale rewrite of the bill. I don’t know what the justification for that would be. I would recommend we reject the Adkins amendment and pass Senate Bill 50 as is.”

Riley, Katie Moyer, and Hornback all said they see no reason to include tax credits for growers or processors.

Moyer said her involvement in “grassroots movements” tells her those grassroots activists don’t want tax credits.

“What we really want in the grassroots movement is to cut our budget, cut spending,” Moyer said. “I think this crop can stand or fall on its own.”

Comer said he is “optimistic” the measure can pass in the final two days of the session when lawmakers return to Frankfort on Monday and Tuesday. He said if Democratic House leaders allow a vote on the house floor the bill would pass 85-15.

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