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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

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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