- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has urged federal officials to release a batch of imported hemp seeds meant to gauge the crop’s potential as a moneymaker for farmers.

Comer’s chief of staff, Holly Harris VonLuehrte, says state agriculture officials had discussions with federal Justice Department and drug enforcement officials on Tuesday. She says drug enforcement officials eventually agreed to expedite the process to release the seeds to Kentucky.

Comer’s office is threatening to go to court to obtain the 250-pound shipment of seeds from Italy unless federal customs officials release it.

The new federal farm bill allows a limited comeback of hemp. It allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow the growing of hemp.

Eight pilot projects are planned in Kentucky.

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