“I wish Kentucky wouldn’t always be in front of us,” Indiana Farmers Union member Pam Patrick told the committee. “When I see industrial hemp, I see money.”
University of Kentucky research from last year suggested Kentucky could support about 80,000 acres of hemp that would bring in between $200 and $300 per acre, although increasing supplies could cut that to about $100 per acre. The research shows the current national market for the crop is small, and likely could only support a few dozen jobs in Kentucky.
Also in speaking in favor of the Indiana legislation were two mothers of children with Dravet syndrome, a rare childhood disease that causes frequent seizures. Cannabidiol, a chemical in hemp, is sometimes used to stop the seizures.
Brandy Barrett broke down in tears while telling lawmakers how her 7-year-old son can’t visit the zoo because overstimulation can trigger seizures.
“Help me and help all the state of Indiana be a voice for these children,” Barrett said. “Support this bill.”
No one spoke against the bill, which now moves to the full Senate.