Luke Morgan
Counsel for Kentucky Department of
111 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Dear Mr. Morgan:
U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
Springfield, Virginia 22152
MAY 2 2 2014
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued to the Kentucky Department of
Agriculture (KDA) an import permit authorizing the importation of 130 kilograms of viable
cannabis seeds to be used to grow and cultivate industrial hemp in accordance with Section 7606 of
the Agriculture Act of 2014.
Please note that, as DEA indicated its May 13, 2014 letter, in accordance with Section 7606,
only institutions of higher education and State departments of agriculture may be used to grow or
cultivate industrial hemp. Accordingly, it is the position of DEA that Section 7606 does not provide
any authorization to private growers who are not institutions of higher education or a State department
of agriculture within the meaning of Section 7606. That is, private growers who are not institutions
of higher education or a State department of agriculture within the meaning of Section 7606 remain
subject to the registration requirement and all other applicable provisions of the Controlled Substances
Act. The seeds therefore may not be distributed by KDA, the institutions of higher education to
whom KDA will distribute the seeds, or any other persons, to private growers who are not
institutions of higher education or a State department of agriculture within the meaning of Section
7606. DEA would consider any such distributions to unauthorized persons to be outside the scope
of Section 7606 and thus unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act.
Please also note that, although DEA made special accommodations in this case due to the
apparent confusion regarding the meaning of Section 7606, all applications for proposed future
importations of viable cannabis seeds must be carried in out the normal manner. That is, the
application for an import permit must be submitted to DEA and approved before the seeds are
exported from the country of origin for importation into the United States. In accordance with
federal law, any attempted importation into the United States of future shipments of viable cannabis
seeds without the requisite DEA import permit, or by a person who does not hold a valid DEA
registration authorizing such person to import the seeds, may result in seizure and destruction of the
seeds by the U.S. Government.
Mr. Luke Morgan Page 2
Finally, please be advised that DEA, along with its state and local law enforcement partners, will
continue to carry out the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) in
Kentucky. It is crucial that participants in the DCE/SP have sufficient information to distinguish
those cannabis plants that are being lawfully grown under federal law from those plants that are not.
Toward this end, DEA strongly suggests that KDA and/or the Kentucky Industrial Hemp
Commission supply the following information, as soon as possible, and prior to each new planting,
to DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tom Gorman, who can be reached at 502-582-5230:
• Name and address of the entities that are growing or cultivating industrial hemp under the
authority of Kentucky law and in accordance with Section 7606, and the location(s) where
they are doing so (including global positioning coordinates).
• The approximate size (acreage) of each grow site.
• The anticipated dates during which industrial hemp will be grown or cultivated in
accordance with Section 7606.
• The anticipated date of harvest.
• A copy of the license issued to the grower by the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission.
• A name and telephone number of the state official who may be contacted by the DCE/SP if
questions arise regarding the licensure of a particular grow site.
Any questions regarding the submission of the above information may be directed to ASAC
Gorman at the above number. The submission of the foregoing information does not relieve the
grower of any reporting or other requirements imposed by Kentucky State law or regulations.
Joseph T. Rannazzisi ,ii
Deputy Assistant Administrator <,'>I"
Office of Diversion Control f>t-'