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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024   

The clock is ticking for a proposed bill regulating hemp products in Indiana.

Rep. Jake Teshka, R-South Bend, authored House Bill 1079. It overwhelmingly cleared the House in the first half of the current legislative session and is under consideration in the Senate. The proposal aims to clamp down on regulations by banning sales of hemp-based products to anyone younger than 21, improving product safety testing and creating penalties for those who don't follow the law.

Shadi Khoury, owner of Indianapolis-based Dodi Hemp Products, supports the bill.

"Can we come together and prevent this roadblock that has happened every year for the last few years?" Khoury implored. "I own eight retail stores. I sell my products to hundreds of stores across the state. We just want to be able to have a conversation and not get stonewalled one more year."

Khoury added a current ambiguous legal framework surrounding the industry creates uncertainty for everyone. Opponents call some hemp products "marijuana light," and argue that approval takes Indiana one step closer toward legalizing pot.

Chris Daniels, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council representative, said he appreciates the bill's attempt to clarify the law but believes the state has significant policy decisions to make regarding cannabis first.

"This is being sold right now. Everybody's in a spot where we have a teenager going into a shop and trying to buy a product. And we have a shopkeeper who's saying, 'Am I even allowed to sell this to him?' Cops saying, 'Are they committing a crime?' Prosecutors saying, 'Should I charge the kid? Should I charge the shopkeeper?'" Daniels explained. "All of that is currently on the table."

The Senate committee has not voted on the bill. Today is the deadline for legislation to clear chamber committees and return to the house in which it originated.


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