Learn how to get your political voice heard about the positive progress involving the industrial hemp industry.
Awaking the Sleeping Giant
By Justin Swanson
President - Midwest Hemp Council
A big thank you to everyone who came out to the Hemp Victory Tour two weeks ago. We had a strong turnout from our members and key legislators, state agencies and Purdue University. This event was a success because of member support and the many dedicated volunteers. We could not have done it without member and volunteer support.
I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the first meeting of the Indiana Hemp Advisory Committee (IHAC) on August 1st. The Indiana General Assembly created IHAC for the purpose of “providing advice to the office of the state seed commissioner with respect to plans, policies, rules, fees, and procedures applicable to [Indiana’s hemp program].” Ind. Code § 15-11-15-3. Specifically, IHAC will be considering rules covering hemp and agricultural hemp seed as it relates to licensing, production, management and civil penalties. It is important to note that IHAC nor the Seed Commissioner will be considering rules for marijuana or hemp products in the retail marketplace or otherwise. In fact, the Seed Commissioner is explicitly prohibited from regulating hemp products by statute.
Why is IHAC important to the continued growth of the hemp supply chain in Indiana and the Midwest? First, IHAC ensures rules regulating hemp production are promulgated for the first time in Indiana’s history, providing clear guidance to the industry. The mere prospect of Indiana providing clear rules has awoken the sleeping giant that is the reemerging hemp economy in Indiana. Our members are hiring Hoosiers at above-county-average wages and investing tens of millions of dollars into buildings, farm fields and communities across the state.
Second, IHAC guarantees that market participants, state agencies and the public have an opportunity to provide meaningful input into creating a regulatory framework that balances preserving the integrity of the marketplace with continuing to attract substantial investments into the state.
Finally, this regulatory framework is required to be submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture for approval. Upon approval, Indiana will officially be the primary regulator of hemp production in the state, which means our farmers will be working with state agencies rather than federal agencies.
The Midwest Hemp Council is proud to have a representative on IHAC appointed by Governor Holcomb. We are excited to have Midwest Hemp Council member John Mandabach with Bowman Family Holdings represent us. Be sure to tune into this week’s podcast tomorrow afternoon as we will provide a timely summary of the IHAC meeting.