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Indiana Lawmakers Consider Industrial Hemp Expansions

Lawmakers in Indiana are considering allowing farmers to grow hemp under the state’s industrial hemp pilot program, according to an Associated Press report. Currently, only researchers at institutions of higher education can grow the crop.

Don Zolman, CEO of Zolman Farms in Kosciusko County, told members of the Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on Monday that the crop would be a boon to Indiana’s farmers, whose industry has become increasingly more difficult.

“I would encourage you to push the envelope here a little.” — Don Zolman, CEO of Zolman Farms, in a statement to state officials

State Senator Randy Head (R- Logansport), a member of the study committee, said that lawmakers are considering hemp regulations styled after neighboring Kentucky.

“Anyone that wants to grow, they have to have a permit issued by their state government. They have to have GPS coordinates for their growing operations so if the police want to come in and inspect, they know exactly where to go. Then, anything not being grown at those GPS coordinates is illegal.” — State Senator Randy Head, via the AP

Jeff Cummins, spokesperson for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, said the agency does not oppose opening up the hemp program to farmers —  such regulations, however, would take some time.

“We recognize industrial hemp will be part of agricultural growth. We have no opposition to a market-oriented program.” — Jeff Cummins, of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture

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