Federal Appeals Court Revives Smokable Hemp Ban in Indiana

Judge Law Court
  • A federal appeals court has revived a law in Indiana that bans the manufacture, possession, and sale of smokable hemp products.
  • The law was originally given an injunction by a lower judge last September due to the law’s contradictions with federal law.
  • The case now heads to a federal court in Indianapolis.

The law banning smokable hemp in Indiana has been revived this week after a federal appeals court ruled that a lower judge should have never blocked it in the first place. This news comes as a setback for Indiana hemp companies, such as C.Y. Wholesale, that originally challenged the law in 2019.

This new ruling now allows Indiana to enforce its 2019 law that bans the manufacturing, possession, and sale of smokable hemp products. In the meantime, the case will return to lower court in order to refine an injunction that, in the words of the 7th District Court of Appeals in Chicago, “sweeps too broadly.”

From the hemp companies perspective, the law needed refining because it banned the possession of smokable hemp products in Indiana despite a federal law put in place that guarantees interstate commerce in hemp. Last September, a federal judge in Indiana agreed with the hemp companies and put an injunction on the law.

In the ruling by the appeals court, there was an agreement that part of the law banning smokable hemp was worthy of an injunction, but not the entire law overall.

The case will now return to a federal court located in Indianapolis. They have been given instruction to weigh Indiana’s right as a state to regulate hemp against the language in the federal law.

Wrap Up

This ruling is one of many hiccups in a market that is confusing due to its lack of clear regulations. Smokable hemp products, in particular, have been controversial, and many states, such as Iowa, Texas, and Louisiana, have made plans to ban them despite their popularity with consumers.

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