The 2023 session of the Indiana General Assembly has begun. As you know, an issue that has captured the attention and support of many Hoosier minds is cannabis regulation.
I am writing this open letter to focus on this topic.
The Congressional Interim Committee Hearings on Cannabis in the fall of 2022 were a good start to show just how much state legislatures care about cannabis regulation. The next step in cannabis regulation is a very important one. One of the legislator’s primary responsibilities is to protect Hoosier citizens. The creation of a system to regulate cannabis is in line with that very important mandate.
Like it or not, cannabis is here to stay. Countless hoosiers continue to consume it in illegal and dangerous ways without knowing what it contains. Now is the time for a two-year Cannabis Commission. People scoff at this idea, but it’s a common sense move. Remember, the Commission has created quality public policy initiatives such as reforming the property tax system and selling alcohol on Sundays.
The commission will identify best and worst practices in states currently regulating cannabis. The Commission has a mandate to create an integrated framework of product guidelines and standards to protect public health and provide consumer safety.
Indiana has ideal soil and climate conditions for growing hemp. Hemp regulation has the potential to have an economic impact on the state, resulting in significant tax revenue and the creation of 20,000 to 30,000 new jobs for him in advanced manufacturing of hemp-based products. A full range of industrial uses for hemp have been revealed, including bricks, ropes, and many other products. The supply chain growth that fuels this will be driven by what is rapidly becoming an “agricultural renaissance” for Indiana’s farming communities as they begin to educate farmers about the long-term benefits of growing hemp. prize.
I have a keen interest in the growth potential of Indiana’s cannabis industry. The Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) has been notified. Arizona-based FOCUS was founded by former Eli Lilly executives who for the past nine years led the only entity in the cannabis industry dedicated to developing third-party certified health and safety standards.
FOCUS has established a strategic partnership with the Cannabis Hemp Industry Employers Association, a newly organized Indiana organization. The association is committed to our state with the Indiana First Initiative. The purpose of the IFI is to promote state education through a structured educational medium and consensus building within key demographic sectors and key stakeholders (including but not limited to political and faith-based leadership). Encouraging the growth of the cannabis industry with an overall focus on hemp production. , agricultural communities, and corporate leadership.
General Assembly Members: With the establishment of a state-sponsored commission, Indiana could quickly become a recognized leader in the cannabis industry and become the first state to establish a framework for standards-driven growth.
More importantly, the Indiana Cannabis Commission will serve as a catalyst for Indiana’s economic growth, out of the current precarious situation.
Jim Merritt served in the Indiana Senate for 30 years before retiring in 2020. This column was previously published on indianacapitalchronicle.com.send comment to [email protected]