The Kentucky legislature has agreed to allow industrial hemp to be produced within the state’s limits, a minor victory for many that will require the governor’s signature before the next step can occur.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) now has until April 6 to either veto the legislation or sign it into law, but even then the state won’t be allowed to simply start growing the plant to be used for anything from food to fuel: federal legislation outlaws production from coast to coast.

Even with Uncle Sam standing in the way, the state lawmakers that approved the measure say they are optimistic about having Washington overturn the federal ban. The group Vote Hemp says that the states of Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia have all previously approved legislation that legalizes hemp production, but the federal mandate has made actually growing the crop…

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