Kentucky ag agency sues for release of hemp seeds

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Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:17 pm | Updated: 4:41 pm, Tue May 27, 2014.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's Agriculture Department has sued federal officials, seeking the release of imported hemp seeds.

The state Agriculture Department wants to the seeds for pilot projects that would be Kentucky's first hemp crop in decades.

Defendants in the suit filed Wednesday include the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Justice Department did not immediately comment.

Holly Harris VonLuehrte (VON LUR'-dee), chief of staff to state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, says federal officials wanted the state to apply for a permit to receive the seeds.

She says a permit is unnecessary. She points to the federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states that allow hemp growing.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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