Interest in hemp laws grows after passage of new federal farm bill

In the months following passage of a federal farm bill that gave the green light to certain types of industrial-hemp cultivation and research, legislators in at least two Midwestern states have adopted new laws of their own.

Indiana’s SB 357 permits the production of industrial hemp. Under the measure, individuals interested in growing hemp are required to obtain a license and subject to periodic inspections. Nebraska’s LB 1001 allows post-secondary institutions and the state Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. The department must develop regulations and certify sites where the hemp is grown.

The new federal farm bill allows state departments of agriculture, colleges and universities to grow hemp for research purposes — provided state law allows for hemp cultivation. North Dakota has allowed industrial-hemp production for several years. However, as the state’s Department of Agriculture notes, the federal government does not acknowledge state authority to regulate industrial hemp and does not distinguish between it and marijuana. As a result, those seeking to grow hemp must secure a state-issued license as well as approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Stateline Midwest ~ April 20142.17 MB