Hemp Flower Bans Threaten Commerce In Indiana And Texas

Indiana’s ban on hemp flower went into effect late last week

With the legalization of hemp at the federal level with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, it wasn’t long before a new industry based on the increasing popularity of cannabidiol began to take root across the country. But the growth of that industry is at risk in Indiana and Texas, where bans on hemp flower threaten the livelihoods of farmers and small business owners alike.

Under the Farm Bill, states were authorized to enact regulatory plans governing hemp agriculture and commerce. Lawmakers in some states, prodded by the law enforcement community, decided to prohibit possession and commerce of smokable hemp flower. Police and prosecutors argued that the lack of an easy way to differentiate hemp flower from other forms of cannabis would make laws against marijuana unenforceable.

Indiana Ban Now In Effect

In Indiana, a ban on smokable hemp flower included in its regulations was challenged in court, and in September 2019 a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction putting that part of the state’s regulations on hold. But in July, the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the injunction. With that ruling, Indiana’s ban went into effect last Thursday, making possession and delivery of smokable hemp a misdemeanor offense.

“We are pleased that the appeals court upheld Indiana’s criminal prohibition on the manufacture and possession of smokable hemp,” Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a release after the court’s decision. “The court has rightly recognized Indiana’s authority to enforce this law.”

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