Quarles writes letter regarding KY’s hemp industry

Published 2:25 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

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FRANKFORT – Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles released a letter he sent to Kentucky’s federal delegation, urging them to join him in pushing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end its “bureaucratic paralysis” hindering Kentucky’s hemp industry.

“The FDA’s inability to make regulatory decisions is preventing growth in the hemp marketplace,” Quarles said. “Promising potential markets remain closed while crop production has increased. When there is a surplus of a crop and it begins to pile up, the result is obvious: crop prices will fall. We’ve got to do all we can to explain to federal regulators in Washington how regulatory uncertainty is affecting Kentucky and other states around the nation.”

Quarles and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) have engaged on hemp regulatory issues on the national level for several years. Most significantly, Quarles helped author national hemp policy adopted by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) as one of its top priorities. In the policy platform, the organization requested that FDA “develop a model regulatory framework for oversight of the processing of hemp and manufacturing of Cannabidiol (CBD) which will protect public health, comply with federal law and foster growth in the industry.”

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Quarles will visit with FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas as part of a NASDA leadership meeting in Washington, D.C. and will discuss the regulation of CBD and other items pertaining to agriculture.

Download a copy of the letter here.