FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky law will now allow industrial hemp farming if the federal government ever lifts restrictions on the plant.
Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday said he will let the bill become law without his signature.
The governor said he won't sign the legislation out of concerns, shared by some in law enforcement, that marijuana growers could camouflage their illegal growth with hemp plants.
Beshear said state officials should have time to work out their concerns if the federal Drug Enforcement Agency ever lifts its ban or allows commonwealth farmers to register as legal cultivators of hemp.
Kentucky is now the ninth state to pass such a law. But so far the DEA has granted only Hawaii a permit for a quarter acre plot to grow hemp for university research.
The General Assembly passed the bill last Tuesday in the final minutes of this year's legislative session, giving the governor 10 days excluding Sundays to veto it.
The bill would allow Kentucky farmers to grow hemp, which can produce paper products and cosmetics, if the federal government lifts its ban on the plant.
Hemp is similar to marijuana but has a negligible amount of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
Beshear's office said Monday that he will consult with law enforcement officials. They are concerned marijuana growers could use hemp to camouflage the illegal drug.