House committee advances Lucas' industrial hemp bill

Posted by: Abigail Campbell  | Thursday, January 25, 2018

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 25, 2018) — The House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development today supported State Rep. Jim Lucas’ (R-Seymour) proposal  that would legalize the production and marketing of industrial hemp in Indiana.

“This bill would establish commonsense protocols in regards to industrial hemp while allowing the agricultural community to benefit from its many uses,” Lucas said. “This legislation will authorize and set the framework for an industrial hemp sector in Indiana. I want to advance a straightforward piece of legislation that could help further propel our state’s strong economy.”

According to Lucas, this legislation defines industrial hemp as a specialty strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant with less than 0.3 percent of THC. He said the low THC level renders hemp worthless as a recreational drug, but it can be used for various industrial applications such as textiles, building materials and health products. 

Growers and handlers of industrial hemp would have to adhere to guidelines set forth by the state, including licensure and the use of only state-certified seeds.

According to Lucas, this proposal would allow the processing, manufacturing, transport and marketing of industrial hemp and industrial hemp products if the hemp was planted, grown and harvested by those licensed by the state, or according to the laws and regulations of another state. Adherence to the guidelines and framework outlined in the bill would protect a person from state civil or criminal proceedings.

House Bill 1137 can now move to the House floor for further consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) represents House District 69, which includes

portions of Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings and Jefferson counties.

A high-resolution photo of Lucas can be downloaded by clicking here.