The state Senate Agriculture Committee approved the measure unanimously Monday, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported.
Growing hemp is banned in the United States under federal law because the seeds contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The plant cultivated for industrial hemp -- used in cloth, rope, paper and other products -- has been bred to produce large quantities of fiber with low quantities of THC.
Paul wore a shirt he said was made from hemp produced in Canada.
"If I thought this was going to allow marijuana to take off in our state, I wouldn't be for it," he said.
Kentucky State Police Superintendent Rodney Brewer testified it is possible to get high from the seeds of industrial hemp. But Woolsey compared it to low-alcohol beer.
Woolsey said Brewer's statement "is pretty much exactly like saying you can get drunk on O'Douls. It's very difficult."
A number of states have already legalized hemp production. But they have not been granted waivers by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Man spent 15 hours in jail for plugging electric car into an outlet at a school
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet