Hemp was planted Tuesday at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, for the first time in 130 years.
The hemp will be a permanent part of the estate and will be an educational tool, Ashland curator Eric Brooks said.
“There can be no doubt that hemp played a central role in Henry Clay’s life and that he was key to the Kentucky industry in the antebellum period,” Brooks said. At one time, hemp was one of the state’s top cash crops.
Hemp was banned from being grown without a federal permit by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Restrictions were loosened by the 2014 farm bill, which approved hemp to be grown for industrial research.
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The planting was facilitated by the United Hemp Industries, the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation and the University of Kentucky through the university’s industrial hemp research program.
On June 11, the foundation will host Henry Clay’s hemp symposium, featuring historical speakers and an educational session about the hemp plants.
UK agronomist Rich Mundell, who helped to plant the hemp, said some of the seeds might sprout as early as Saturday.