Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

More News

June 6, 2014

Industrial hemp gets a champion

INDIANAPOLIS – It may take Robert Waltz some time to get used to his new role as Indiana’s “hemp czar.”

As the state’s seed commissioner, Waltz may soon oversee the planting of Indiana’s first legal crop of cannabis in decades.

“It’s not a title I would take up on my own,” said the 60-year-old Waltz. “But I’ve been called worse.”

In April, Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation to allow Indiana farmers to grow industrial hemp. He tasked Waltz – appointed in 2009 as both the state chemist and seed commissioner – with clearing the way for that to happen. It’s no easy task.

Hemp lacks the psychoactive punch of marijuana, but both are derived from the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp was once an abundant crop in Indiana – production peaked during the war effort in 1943 – but it’s been illegal to grow since 1970. That’s when the Controlled Substances Act lumped industrial hemp with marijuana and outlawed production of both, despite their chemical differences.

The farm bill passed by Congress earlier this year re-opened the door for industrial hemp production as a cash crop. It allows states and universities to grow hemp for agricultural research if they can get a waiver from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Some see growing hemp as a first step toward wider production of a plant that other countries already use for a range of household purposes, including paper, cosmetics and textiles.

Waltz, who’s based at Purdue University, has sought the DEA’s permission, but it may be months before the state gets approval.

Until then, he and a team of researchers are working on myriad of hemp-related issues – from licensing procedures for farmers to security rules that will keep potheads from passing off marijuana as the lookalike hemp.

Text Only
More News
  • Power of the Past Aug. 14-17 The Decatur County Fairgrounds will come alive Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 14-17 with the sights and sounds of the annual Greensburg Power of the Past reunion. In addition, RFD’s Classic Tractor Fever will be on hand as both the show and the event join for

    August 1, 2014

  • nws - bv080114 - FCSD staat Staat enters field training officer program Franklin County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jeffrey Staat Jr. graduated from the 202nd session of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Training Course July 11, according to a press release. The course consisted of over 600 hours of training in a

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv080114 - bicentennial free blacks Free blacks migrated to Indiana Like other pioneers, they came to Indiana in search of land and liberty and, for the most part, found both. Beginning in the 1820s and continuing until the eve of the Civil War, free African-Americans migrated in family groups to Indiana and establis

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ivy Tech adds training The Indiana State Department of Health has given approval for the Ivy Tech Community College Lawrenceburg campus to be a training site for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Qualified Medication Aide (QMA) programs in the region, according to

    August 1, 2014

  • Farmers' Market Week Aug. 3-9 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared Aug. 3-9 National Farmers’ Market Week. Throughout the week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers’ markets, farmers who make them possible and the communiti

    August 1, 2014

  • Grain handling hazards can be avoided As Hoosier farm workers prepare for this year’s harvest, Indiana Department of Labor leaders remind employers and employees about grain handling facility hazards and how to prevent occupational injuries and fatalities.On July 10, a 9-year-old boy die

    August 1, 2014

  • Purchasing state fair pork meals helps feed hungry Indiana Pork and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture are partnering to feed the hungry at the Indiana State Fair. This partnership is made possible through a livestock promotion grant awarded from ISDA to Indiana Pork (www.indianapork.com), a

    August 1, 2014

  • Batesville incidents range from fraud to family violence The Batesville Police Department documented 29 primary offense incidents in June, according to its CrimeStar Law Enforcement Records Management System.Thefts continue to dog residents, with five reported. Five were arrested due to warrants.There were

    August 1, 2014

  • BMV reinstatement fees temporarily discounted A new Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Reinstatement Relief Program offers a 50 percent discount for any reinstatement fees incurred prior to July 1, 2013, for operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility (insurance), as long as those f

    July 29, 2014

  • On File The following information was obtained in conjunction and reprinted with permission from The Versailles Republican.Ripley CountyReal Estate TransfersDorothy Wissel to Terry Wissel, property in Shelby Township, filed May 29.Martha Jean Jarvis to Krist

    July 29, 2014