Indiana News

Indiana lawmaker's bill addresses Trump's pending approval to grow hemp

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- As industrial hemp in Indiana could soon be legal nationwide, one state lawmaker is drafting legislation to regulate its production and use in Indiana. 

On Thursday, a sweeping farm bill awaited President Donald Trump's signature. A provision of the farm bill that received final approval in Congress on Wednesday removes hemp from the list of federally controlled substances and treats the low-THC version of the cannabis plant like any other agricultural crop. 

"It's renewable, it's recyclable," said State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour.

Hemp can be used for things like car door panels, clothes and paper. The seeds are also edible.

"It is not a plant that can get you high or anything like that," Lucas said.  

Lucas has an industrial hemp bill ready to go that would let Hoosier farmers grow, process, sell and use industrial hemp.

"It's based on the assumption that what passed recently, passed in the farm bill," Lucas explained. "It takes that, and it basically sets up a regulatory structure for it. I want to do it as free market way as possible."

"We can take the ball and run with it and bring a whole new industry that's estimated to be billions of dollars here soon," explained Lucas. "We can bring that to Indiana." 

Lucas believes the prices of many things you buy could go down if hemp is grown in Indiana.

"Clothing for one. Food, fuel, fiber," Lucas explained. "That's one of those things, let the market forces work."

House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, said, "I don't think anybody's using industrial hemp for anything other than industrial uses. I'm fine with the growing and industrial use of it. I don't know that it's the agricultural silver bullet that some think it is. But I don't have any problem with it," 

Lucas introduced an industrial hemp bill during the last legislative session. The bill passed in the House with strong support, but he withdrew it when it arrived to the Senate with changes he said he did not like. 

Lucas said he felt "100 percent" confident his new bill would make its way to law in the upcoming session. 


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