US (IN): Cannabis legalization and regulatory bills pre-filed for 2022 session

Indiana lawmakers will have their pick of cannabis reform bills to take up during the 2022 session, with newly pre-filed legislation covering everything from legalizing possession to initial steps for setting up the regulatory infrastructure for a cannabis market. Rep. Sue Errington (D) is sponsoring that infrastructure legislation—a proposal that the state’s anti-legalization governor recently signaled he could support.

The bill would not immediately legalize cannabis for adult use, but it would create a new Cannabis Compliance Commission and a separate advisory committee to “regulate the growth, processing, distribution, and sale of legal cannabis in Indiana,” including the state’s existing hemp and CBD markets.

The idea is to get the pieces in place to regulate commercial cannabis production and sales if legalization is eventually enacted. Members would be responsible for setting rules and issuing licenses for any legal cannabis businesses, and would also be authorized to issue cannabis research licenses to eligible academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and agricultural businesses.

Errington has previously sponsored cannabis legislation, including broader legalization bills. She recently told WTHR-TV that she felt those efforts were “trying to bite off too big a chunk at once,” so she hopes this infrastructure-centered reform will be a passable first step. Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) isn’t supportive of legalization, but he did recently say that he’s on board with having lawmakers pass legislation to get the state ready for legal cannabis if federal prohibition is lifted.

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