There’s another legislative debate over forms of cannabis that aren’t marijuana.
Indiana legalized C-B-D oil three years ago. Shelbyville Representative Sean Eberhart wants to apply the same standard to the hemp flower: it’s legal as long as the T-H-C content is minimal.
Eberhart says hemp is projected to be a quarter-billion-dollar industry within four years, and says Indiana farmers and retailers should be able to compete with neighboring states for a slice of that pie. But State Police oppose the bill, saying it would make Indiana’s marijuana laws unenforceable. Since hemp flower and marijuana look and smell the same, only the T-H-C content would separate legal from illegal, making it the only drug subject to a quantitative lab analysis.
Current law addresses that issue by limiting hemp to licensed processors — if you don’t have a license, there’s a presumption you’ve broken the law, regardless of the lab test.
A similar objection sank Eberhart’s last attempt to legalize hemp in 2019. Eberhart says a new Purdue-developed field test can solve that problem. But prosecutors also oppose the bill, saying that test hasn’t been ruled admissible in court yet.
The bill failed at a Monday committee hearing when no one seconded a motion to pass it, but the proposal could still come back for another try.