The state of Indiana is engaged in a legal wrangle over the banning of smokable hemp, saying that removing the law is not necessary as a new regulation authorizes interstate movement of the product between licensed parties.
Considering the federal law already accommodates interstate hemp trade, the hemp companies involved in the case argued that it was unlawful for Indiana to ban smokable hemp products passing through its borders.
However, state attorneys, last week argued in a court filing that the legalization of hemp provisioned in the 2018 Firm Bill, does not protect the movement of hemp produced by unlicensed companies against state jurisdiction. The attorneys insist that Indiana law on smokable hemp does not contradict federal law in any way.
Indiana voiced its opposition against smokable hemp flower, saying that the product will pose a challenge when it comes to distinguishing it from THC-rich marijuana.
However, last September, an Indiana federal judge put an injunction on the new state regulation citing that the hemp firms are allowed by law to move smokable hemp between states.
The state appealed with the federal court of appeals in July, which reinstated the law maintaining that Indiana has the authority to ban production and sale of smokable hemp but not transportation.
In a bid to resolve the contested issue of interstate hemp transportation, Indiana passed another state law revising the previous one prohibiting smokable hemp. The law states that the earlier regulation that outlawed smokable hemp does not cover trade between out-of-state licensed parties.
Still, hemp companies are not content with the new directive citing that the Farm Bill doesn’t mandate permits.
But Indiana disagrees arguing that the Farm Bill uses a language supporting the licensing of hemp producers. In its statement, Indiana also objects to an involvement by the Hemp Alliance of Tennessee in the case.