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Business leaders launch advocacy group Indiana Cann to urge lawmakers to legalize cannabis

Samantha Horton
IPB News
Left to right, Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis), Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, and Matt Roman with Stash Ventures LLC speak about legalizing cannabis in Indiana at the Denton’s Legislative Conference in December

A new organization of business leaders has formed to advocate for the legalization of adult use of cannabis in Indiana. Indiana Cann argues that the potential tax revenue could bring $171 million into the state if it were to adopt Colorado's tax policy.

The non-profit organization said the cannabis industry could help small communities in the state by providing a recession-proof industry.

Organizers said every $1 of legal cannabis sold spurs an additional $2.50 in economic activity.

Half Moon Hemp owner Adam Gillatte grows hemp and is a board member of Indiana Cann. He said he wishes Republican lawmakers that oppose legalization would spend time learning about cannabis and the industry.

"And not thinking of this as gangsters and thugs, but really looking at: how do we use our best resources in the state?" Gilatte said. "We've got the right soil. We've got the right farmers. We have perfect conditions.”

State lawmakers from both parties will again propose legislation to legalize cannabis for medical use. This year the goal is to at least get a public hearing on the topic. A 2018 summer study committee heard hours of testimony on medical use.

A survey conducted by Old National Bank and Ball State University in 2018 found that about 8 in 10 Hoosiers support legalized cannabis in some form.

Last month, we welcomed Samantha Horton to our station. She is Indiana Public Broadcasting reporter, mainly reporting on business and economic issues in the States of Indiana for WBAA. After graduated from Evansville University with a triple majors degree (International studies, Political science and Communication), Samantha worked for a Public Radio at Evansville for three years, and then she joined WBAA because she wanted to take a bigger role on reporting. So far she enjoyed working in WBAA as business and economy reporter.