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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

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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