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Indiana cannabis reform advocates hope for progress in 2023, even if incremental

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Business, Government, Politics
Midwest Hemp Council President Justin Swanson is a veteran of the Indiana Statehouse, having lobbied there for years. (Alan Mbathi / IPB News)

Advocates for cannabis legalization are making a renewed push at the Statehouse in 2023. And for some, the goal is progress of any kind – even if incremental.

Justin Swanson is president of the Midwest Hemp Council, a part of Growing Indiana Together, a cannabis reform group. He’s urging Hoosiers to contact their state legislators and tell them that legal cannabis, in some form, is a top priority.

“We have a lot of momentum – not only because of new lawmakers coming in but because voters are getting more and more vocal about what they’re expecting from their legislators,” Swanson said.

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Swanson is a Statehouse veteran, having lobbied there for years. He’s keeping his expectations realistic – he wants at least a committee hearing on cannabis reform.

“I’m not saying we have all the answers today, but we do need to start having those discussions in a public setting so we can identify where the rubs are, the frictions are, and take care of them in the bill,” Swanson said.

Legislation is being filed in both chambers, by lawmakers of both parties, that deal with aspects of cannabis reform.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.