“Manufacturers from all over the country have written to the agriculture commissioner saying they would locate in Kentucky and contract with farmers to grow hemp if it becomes legal, Comer said. One potential manufacturer would make car dashboards out of hemp, Comer said. He estimates hemp could create 25,000 jobs in Kentucky based on a study from UK in the 1990s.

“I’m confident if we legalize it, it will create multiple industries,” Comer said. “I hope they are located in rural communities where they can purchase the hemp from the farmers. I will not encourage one farmer to grow industrial hemp unless we have the market.”

Before the state can act, however, the federal restriction on growing hemp must be lifted.”