Hemp Seeds for Kentucky Projects Held Up by Federal Customs
A shipment of 250 pounds of hemp seeds slated to be part of Kentucky projects has been held up by US Customs in Louisville.
While Kentucky law was recently changed to allow the growing of hemp for university-run research projects, federal customs officials are still leery of signing off on the seed shipments. State officials say the confusion is holding up hemp seeds from getting to project locations in the commonwealth.
“I spoke with a customs official in Chicago, and once I advised her of what the law is, and what we’re doing at the Department of Agriculture, customs in Chicago released the seeds to Louisville, and now it’s just a question of getting everyone on the same page,” said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The shipment initially was held up by customs in Chicago, released and now has been stalled in Louisville for several days, VonLuehrte said. She said officials expected there could be a delay because of the newness of the law and had hoped that the delay would be brief.
“It is mind-boggling the bureaucratic hoops that we’ve had to jump through,” she said. “They do not care what the law is. The law is what they say it is.”
VonLuehrte said the DEA had been expected to develop a new policy for hemp seed but hasn’t. “It’s not like this is an obscure subject matter,” she said.
The first planting of hemp seeds in Kentucky is scheduled for next week in Rockcastle County.