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Indiana Legalizes Industrial Hemp

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Industrial hemp is now legal in Indiana. Earlier last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 357, also known as “The Industrial Hemp Bill,” into law, which makes the Hoosier state the 11th in the nation to legalize hemp production.

Actually, industrial hemp was once a part of the Indiana farming community. In fact, some of the earliest reports of hemp production were recorded in Union County in the 1800’s. It may also surprise you that during World War II, the folks of Jasper County, Indiana received recognition by the United States Department of Agriculture for their steadfast production of hemp during the war.

Unfortunately, the government decided this country had had enough of a good thing and outlawed hemp production across the United States in 1937. To make things worse, the feds decided to let it mingle with marijuana with the advent of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. However, although hemp is considered marijuana’s boring cousin, it does not contain any psychoactive compounds that can get a person stoned.

Now that hemp is legal again, the state must wait for the federal government to give them permission to begin production. Recently, the government amended a federal farm bill that allows states with legalized hemp to experiment with crops. Indiana must simply wait to get on the list with the 10 other states.

So far, no plans have been released, but the program is expected to be administered by the Indiana Seed Commissioner at Perdue University.

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