The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is closer to getting a shipment of hemp seeds being held by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“We’ve come a long way, and I believe we are on the verge of making history,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission in his Frankfort office May 20.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture lawyer Luke Morgan told the The State Journal May 21 DEA inspected and approved the KDA’s facility to store the hemp seed, a step in getting the seed delivered.

“We’re very happy to tell you that on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, it appears that we should be getting these seeds that have been held in the Louisville airport over here very soon,” Morgan told the commission as reported by the Journal. “… It’s a shame that it’s had to come to a lawsuit, but nevertheless the department has been pursuing this important legislative initiative vigorously.

Commissioner Comer said he continues to hear from industrial hemp processors who are interested in locating in Kentucky if large-scale hemp production returns to the Commonwealth.

The commission approved regulations that would govern the eight pilot programs set to launch at universities across the state. The commission is authorized to write regulations to administer the hemp pilot programs under Senate Bill 50, the 2013 legislation that legalized hemp production in Kentucky. The regulations now go to the governor’s office for his approval.

Industrial hemp was an acceptable, moneymaking enterprise in Kentucky more than 70 years ago. Commissioner Comer said bipartisan is bringing industrial hemp back to Kentucky, giving a nod to efforts by Gov. Steve Beshear, state Attorney General Jack Conway, U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie.

“History will show we stood for something worth fighting for,” Comer said.