Indiana Legalizes CBD

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog

While lawmakers have introduced various medical cannabis bills in the Indiana legislature in the past two years, the treatment-resistant, epilepsy-specific measure HB 1148 is the only one that the state has implemented so far.

The House passed HR0002 in January with a 94-0 vote, resolving to conduct a  2018 study to weigh the possibility of a creating a state medicinal marijuana program. Because HR0002 is a resolution, it does not need Senate approval.

But the people in the Hoosier State won’t need to wait until next year to be able to purchase certain cannabis products without even needing a doctor’s recommendation.

In a late season session on Wednesday, March 15, the Indiana House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass SB 52, a measure to legalize cannabidiol (CBD) in the state. The Senate vote was 36-11 while the House’s decision was unanimous.

Only one week later on Wednesday, March 21, Governor Eric Holcomb [R] signed his approval of SB 52 into law, legalizing CBD oil products with a THC level of .3% or less.

“Indiana lawmakers delivered a bill that ensures Hoosiers who benefit from CBD oil can access it,” said Holcomb about the new measure. “The bill provides much-needed clarity, with labeling requirements and a 0.3% THC limit on CBD products. I’m grateful for the General Assembly’s hard work to bring me a bill to address the needs expressed by our citizens.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb

Holcomb has previously expressed his support of medicinal CBD use in humans as well as animals. The governor told the Times of Northwest Indiana in an interview that if his seven-year-old miniature schnauzer were in pain that could be relieved by CBD, he would be open to giving it to the dog.

Authored by Senators Michael Young [R] and James Tomes [R], the new law takes place immediately with no restrictions other than the maximum allowable levels of THC in the product through June 30. From July 1 on, CBD oil retailers will only be permitted to sell items that comply with newly-established state packaging, testing, and certification standards.

New regulations impose penalties for retailers and individuals who knowingly possess and sell products with THC levels over .3%.

Selling THC oil as CBD can be charged as a Level 5 felony and carry a $10,000 fine and a six-year prison sentence. People who possess the same oil can be facing a Class A misdemeanor with a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

In addition to legalizing CBD and voting to study medical cannabis early in the 2018 year, industrial hemp legalization is a topic slated for study by an Indiana committee in the summer.