While CBD and hemp oil products have made major headway in the U.S., smokeable hemp has in some cases faced a few more hurdles.
Smokeable hemp often resembles leafy marijuana, despite the fact that it doesn’t intoxicate users like its high-THC cousin. Recently, a court decision in America’s heartland made a heavy blow against smokeable hemp farmers, retailers and users.
An appellate court in Chicago made a decision this month that will uphold Indiana’s ban against smokeable hemp flower, according to media reports.
The three-judge panel at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided last week that a lower court’s injunction against the enforcement of a ban on smokeable hemp should be struck down.
This means the initial ban remains in place, and while legal justifications for the move continue to accumulate, entrepreneurs and cannabis fans will surely be left dissatisfied.
“The Farm Law authorizes the states to continue to regulate the production of hemp, and its express preemption clause places no limitations on a state’s right to prohibit the cultivation or production of industrial hemp,” Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Diane Wood wrote in the unanimous July 8 opinion, according to Courthouse News.
The entire dispute arose after industry groups sued Indiana for the law it passed in May 2019 to end the sale and use of smokeable hemp products.
According to the industry groups that brought the initial action, last week’s ruling left much to be desired.
“The new legislation is at best incomplete and at worst extremely vague as to what it purports to allow,” Paul Vink of Bose McKinsey & Evans said, according to Courthouse News.
The future of the smokeable hemp experience in the state of Indiana remains uncertain, but for now it seems that it will not be allowed.
Industry groups remain certain that the law which the court affirmed last week is arbitrary because it isolates one aspect of the hemp plant and hemp products, but for those looking to ensure state agents can tamp its trade and make sure there is no confusion between hemp flower and marijuana, the decision is good news.
“We are pleased that the appeals court upheld Indiana’s criminal prohibition on the manufacture and possession of smokable hemp,” Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “The court has rightly recognized Indiana’s authority to enforce this law.”