James St. John

Indiana House Approves Industrial Hemp Bill

The Indiana House has unanimously approved a measure that would allow the state’s farmers to grow industrial hemp, the Indy Star reports. Additionally, the measure would exclude products derived from the crops containing 0.3 percent or less THC from the state’s controlled substance definition, allowing the products to be sold commercially.

In November, state Attorney General Cutis Hill said that CBD products were unlawful in the state, and a day later Gov. Eric Holcomb gave retailers 60 days to remove CBD products “containing any level of THC” from their shelves.

According to the bill’s fiscal statement, the measure would require interested farmers to undergo a background check at their expense and would repeal the state’s Cannabidiol Registry. An Industrial Hemp Commodities Review Board would also be convened.

According to the bill text HB.1137:

“Amends the definition of “industrial hemp” by: (1) specifying that plant resins are included in the definition; (2) removing a reference to the percent on a dry weight basis determined by the federal Controlled Substances Act; and (3) removing the exclusion of industrial hemp commodities or products. Specifies that the agricultural pilot program administered by the state seed commissioner is for research and scientific study in conjunction with a state educational institution.”

The measure next moves to the Senate where it currently carries three sponsors.

“Everything I’ve seen says industrial hemp is probably a harmless crop. I have no problem with that, I’m just not sure the federal government issue isn’t still holding us back.” – Senate leader David Long, to the Star

If approved, licenses would be issued beginning on June 30, 2019.

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