Indiana’s attempt to ban smokable hemp has been shut down. A federal judge deemed it unconstitutional to ban one kind of hemp. The state was looking for a way to help law enforcement who have a hard time distinguishing hemp from marijuana. Not allowing people to smoke it would help Police continue to prosecute people they find smoking cannabis products properly.
After forming the ban, the state was promptly sued by the Midwest Hemp Council and seven hemp wholesalers in Indiana. The companies included the CBD Store of Fort Wayne, C.Y. Wholesale, Indiana CBD Wellness, Indy E-Cigs, 5 Star Medicinal Products, El Anar, and DREEM Nutrition. They argued that the 2018 Farm Bill legalizes all forms of hemp. They were adamant that states couldn’t ban just a single form of it. The judge ultimately sided with the council.
This is good news for hemp businesses who will be able to sell smokable hemp flower. The flower is a hot product in the hemp industry. The appeal of smoking something and getting all the benefits of CBD without getting high appeals to people. Many buyers are also considering the flower as a way to help them quit smoking while still maintaining the ritual that smoking provides.
This is troubling news for law officials because their job of enforcing current drug laws becomes much more difficult. It is impossible to distinguish the two from sight and smell alone. The court remains unsympathetic towards law enforcement.
“The fact that local law enforcement may need to adjust tactics and training in response to changes in federal law is not a sufficient basis for enacting unconstitutional legislation,” U.S. District Judge Sarah Evan Barker wrote. “The likely unconstitutional portions of the statute cannot be easily measured or reliably calculated, given the novelty of the hemp industry in Indiana and the dearth of historical sales data to use as a baseline for calculating lost revenues.”