While many Kentucky lawmakers oppose a new bill that would enable local farmers to grow hemp, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not one of them. In fact, earlier this week, McConnell said that he whole-heartedly backs the case for legalizing hemp production in the state of Kentucky.

“After long discussions with Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer on the economic benefits of industrialized hemp, I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” he said.

Critics of the proposed bill say they are concerned that legalizing hemp would promote illegal drug use; however McConnell feels confident that the pros in this situation definitely out-weight the cons.

“Commissioner Comer has assured me that his office is committed to pursuing industrialized hemp production in a way that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use,” said McConnell. “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times that sounds like a good thing to me.”

It is currently against federal law for farmers to grow hemp, which is a non-psycho-active derivative of marijuana. If the proposed bill is passed, the removal of current federal regulations in Kentucky would enable the state to license farmers to grow hemp.

“Our federal delegation is showing tremendous leadership,” says Comer. “They recognize this is not a partisan issue. It’s about jobs. And we will continue to push forward to make sure Kentucky is first in line for them.”