Kentucky’s first legal hemp crop since the 1950s is ready to go into the ground this month, something James Comer, the state’s agriculture commissioner, has been pushing for several years.

The federal government classifies hemp as a controlled substance just as it does marijuana. But Kentucky has been on track for years to legally sidestep that federal hurdle, and now things are set to see if the crop can once again become economically viable in the state.

Comer told the Associated Press that Kentucky's hemp crop will be planted this month and that other state's, like his, want in on some of the action.

"Here we are. We passed it in Kentucky. Now other states are saying 'Yeah, we want to do that too.’ Indiana's following suit. Tennessee's followed suit passing legislation,” Comer said.

But the first shipment of industrial hemp seeds was held by customs officials in Chicago who didn’t know anything about Kentucky’s new attitude toward the fiber and oilseed crop. Comer told AP his office had to weed through the federal bureaucracies to get the seed into the state.

“Even though legislation passed in the farm bill to legalize it, the customs agents and border patrol and all the different federal bureaucracies didn't know about that. So we've had to educate all the federal bureaucracies,” said Comer to AP, who added that federal officials finally sent the seed, which were paid for by private donation, to his office.

Kentucky Senate Bill 50 exempts industrial hemp from the state controlled substances act but mandates that Kentucky follow all federal rules and regulations with respect to industrial hemp.

The 2014 farm bill allows state departments of agriculture, in states where industrial hemp is legal, to administer industrial hemp pilot programs in conjunction with universities for the purposes of research and development.

The newly arrived Kentucky hemp seed will go to several new pilot projects in the state:

#1 Project, affiliated with Kentucky State University and KDA Homegrown by Heroes military veteran farmer program, will study the cultivation of Kentucky Heirloom hemp seed on a research plot in Eastern Kentucky.

#2 Project, located in Western Kentucky and affiliated with Murray State University, will cultivate European seed for the purposes of studying hemp fiber.

#3 Project, located on an urban brownfield and affiliated with the University of Louisville, will study bio-remediation, or the detoxifying and environmental effects of industrial hemp.

#4 Project, located in central Kentucky, will address many of the basic agricultural issues involved in the production of industrial hemp such as the machinery needed for proper planting, harvesting and transportation, the yield per acre and overall cost of production. This project is linked with the University of Kentucky for measuring agriculture production and Eastern Kentucky University, which will conduct a renewable energy research project with this crop in its EKU Craft Center.

#5 Project, also affiliated with the UK and located in Eastern Kentucky, will focus on cultivating cannabinoids for medical research purposes. If you have an interest in growing industrial hemp, please execute the attached application and a KDA staffer will contact you with more information. The goal of these pilot programs is to move this new industry forward while working to achieve independence for farmers to pursue production of industrial hemp in a free and open market.