Indiana hemp bill passes Senate, moves to state House


Indiana farmers could soon be planting fields of hemp as an industrial hemp production bill moved through the state’s House Agricultural Committee earlier this week to the full House.
With House approval, the bill would head to the governor’s desk as the measure has already been approved by the state Senate.

If passed, Senate Bill 357 would legalize the production of hemp, which they define as having almost no THC by weight. Lawmakers have moved the bill forward by promising a new crop for Indiana farmers as well as having touting the potential for creating an entirely new industry around hemp processing and distribution. They also had to dispel any myths that hemp can get you high.
“You could not ingest enough of this material to get high in any way – to have hallucinogenic benefits,” said Sen. Richard Young, a Democrat from Milltown who introduced the bill. “What you would do is get sick.”
The bill would give control of hemp production to the Indiana State chemist and Seed Commissioner at Purdue University (seriously, that title exists). State police would also be used to help regulate the crops and make sure that nobody is growing smokable cannabis deep within their hemp fields (which they won’t out of fear of cross-pollination).
“Other states are positioning themselves to take advantage and to put their farmers in the position to take advantage of an opportunity that will occur when, not if, but when the federal government decides to lift its prohibition,” Bill Kraft, spokesman for the the North American Industrial Hemp council, said at the hearing. “And it makes no sense at all for the state of Indiana to preclude our farmers from positioning ourselves to be able to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Indiana would joint ten other states that have legalized hemp production, including Colorado, Kentucky and California.