Ind. seed commissioner seeks OK on federal hemp

In this Oct. 5, 2013 photo, Derek Cross, a chef who specializes in cooking with hemp, helps harvest the plant in Springfield, Colo. (AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt)
In this Oct. 5, 2013 photo, Derek Cross, a chef who specializes in cooking with hemp, helps harvest the plant in Springfield, Colo. (AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s seed commissioner has asked the federal government for permission to allow Hoosier farmers to begin growing industrial hemp under new state regulations.

Seed Commissioner Robert Waltz said Thursday that industrial hemp cannot be legally grown in Indiana until the state obtains federal approval.

Although the Legislature approved a measure allowing hemp to be grown in the state, Indiana still needs permission from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Waltz says the approval process could take several months, and even then hemp growers and handlers will need a license and have to adhere to stringent state regulations.

Hemp is marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin but it cannot be grown under federal law without permission. Many products made from hemp, such as oils and clothing, are legal.

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