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Kentucky agriculture officials see progress toward winning release of detained hemp seeds

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentucky Agriculture Department attorneys and the federal government have met with a judge to try to resolve a standoff over hemp seeds from Italy that customs officials have detained.

Afterward Wednesday, top Agriculture Department official Holly Harris VonLuehrte (VON' LUHR'-dee) sounded upbeat about getting the seeds in Kentucky soil in coming days.

The 250-pound seed shipment was stopped by U.S. customs officials in Louisville.

One remaining sticking point is a permit for state agriculture officials to distribute seeds for research projects.

VonLuehrte says federal drug officials initially wanted to know precisely how much seed would go to each project. The two sides agreed Wednesday to language allowing the Agriculture Department to indicate that each shipment wouldn't exceed a certain amount.

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