Industrial Hemp Stalls in Indiana

Although industrial hemp production was legalized in the staunchly red state of Indiana last year, no fields have yet been planted.

That’s because would-be hemp companies have been waiting for months on both federal approval of the program as well as seeds to sow.

As a consequence, the state is lagging far behind its neighbor to the south, Kentucky, which harvested 33 acres of industrial hemp last year and is planning on expanding that number exponentially this year.

Some hemp backers are hoping that seeds will arrive soon enough so that fields can be sown yet in June, but that may only be for a study at Purdue University, which got the state and federal governments to green light a three-year cultivation program to be run by an academic team.

The Indiana Hemp Industries Association is still pushing for hemp to become accepted in that state as it has been in Kentucky and several others, including Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

Similar to hemp advocates in other agricultural states, the association sees hemp as a possible boon for struggling farmers, and also argues hemp could spark a manufacturing renaissance since the plant is used for a wide variety of products.