Indiana says a new law fixes dispute over smokable hemp ban, but companies disagree

Indiana says that hemp companies challenging a ban on smokable hemp can’t add a Tennessee hemp association to the case or make other changes because a new state law allows interstate transport of the product as long as it’s between licensed entities.

State attorneys argued in a court filing last week that the 2018 Farm Bill, which broadly legalized hemp “does not insulate from state regulation the transportation of hemp produced by unlicensed entities.

“Indiana’s smokable hemp law thus tracks federal law exactly.”

The hemp companies argued that federal law guarantees interstate commerce in hemp, making it impossible for Indiana to ban the possession of smokable hemp products potentially passing through the state. A federal judge in Indiana sided with the hemp companies last September, putting an injunction on the law.

But a federal appeals court revived the law in July, saying Indiana has the right to ban smokable hemp production and sale, just not transportation.

While both sides litigated the matter, another state law took effect to try to resolve the issue of transporting hemp across state lines. That law clarified that the earlier law that criminalized smokable hemp does not apply to shipments between two out-of-state licensed entities.

But hemp companies still argue that the new law doesn’t fix the conflict they see with federal hemp policy because the Farm Bill doesn’t mention mandating licenses.

But the state disagrees, saying the Farm Bill contains language about requiring hemp producers to be licensed. Indiana also opposes an effort to add the Hemp Alliance of Tennessee to the case.

Attorneys for the hemp companies are planning to file a reply brief.

Smokable hemp is one of the fast-growing sectors in the hemp industry. Analytics firm Nielsen Global Connect predicts that by 2025, the market cold to reach $300 million to $400 million, representing roughly 5% of the potential $6 billion to $7 billion hemp-derived CBD consumer products category.

 

2 comments on “Indiana says a new law fixes dispute over smokable hemp ban, but companies disagree
  1. Pat Jack on

    Is the hemp flower, dried and cured for storage as it must be, and stored appropriately in a climate controlled environment, does the harvesting and preparation of hemp flower automatically make it “smokable hemp”? Is hemp flower soaked in water and then frozen solid, is that then not “smokable hemp” because it cannot be ignited?

    What I’m missing in all these arguments are criteria by the state to define smokable hemp. All hemp and all parts of the hemp plant, even the roots, are combustible substances. It seems as though defining specifically what is exactly “smokable hemp” is in order.

    A preroll or a straight filter-tipped smokable unit, sure, that’s obviously smokable hemp and a truckload of prerolls under Indiana law at this time is certainly illegal when located in their state unless the shipper has the appropriate hemp license and the receiver also has the appropriate hemp license and neither is located in Indiana. And when considering the latter just mentioned, it seems Indiana is attempting to create legislative function and direction for the entire, national hemp industry, which is an overreach of their state level power.

    However a package of hemp flower is unarguably legal as Congress has made it legal. To suggest that any citizen wishing to posses hemp flower either at shipping origin or shipping reception must have an appropriate license and posses that hemp somewhere outside of the state of Indiana unless it is in transit is clearly, nearly, an insane premise. To suggest this regulatory law that Indiana has made and proposes is not an articulation of a law that has impact at federal scope and attempts to usurp the power of Congress and the USDA as a federal hemp regulatory body is kind of totally obvious, it’s magical thinking, it’s just childish.

    Without a definition of “smokable hemp” then the arguments seem to be without merit as the actual illegal object is never defined and if it is defined as any combustible part of the plant, the law against smokable hemp would definitely and without any doubt be unconstitutional and would attempt to re-legislate and undo what has been done by Congress.

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  2. bocaratonrehabcenter on

    Hi. An interesting article. For some reason, it seems to me that this dispute will continue for a long time, and companies will always return to the beginning with the same. But in general, I agree, the field of cannabis will grow significantly over this decade, as evidenced by dozens of studies. But, I’m afraid of that, because it could significantly increase the number of drug addicts in America. And it’s scary

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