Vermilion Stops Enforcing Misdemeanor Marijuana Law


At the City of Vermilion Health & Safety Committee Meeting on August 12, 2019, Police Chief Chris Hartung reported that Senate Bill 57 was passed and there is no way to differentiate between hemp and marijuana – there’s no testing, so all units have been directed not to enforce misdemeanor marijuana possession or marijuana paraphernalia related possession ordinances.

Senate Bill 57 decriminalizes industrial hemp and CBD products.

“This is guidance from the County Prosecutor’s office and all the local prosecutor offices because BCI has no way of measuring those exact levels,” stated Chief Hartung, “so there’s simply no way for them to prove whether it’s hemp or marijuana.”

According to Chief Hartung, possession of marijuana under a pound qualifies as a misdemeanor. He stated they can retain possession, as they would have two years to revisit the issue.

It is possible that equipment will become available to test between hemp and marijuana, but the Vermilion Police Department will have to wait to see what the legislature is going to do, according to Chief Hartung.