Indiana has been confused for months about CBD Oil. They’ve gone from banning to unbanning it, and months of unknown in between. Ironically, as some say, any press is good press even when it’s bad. That very well could be the case for the hemp CBD oil industry in Indiana which may have unintentionally received a spark in late 2017 amidst the buzz in the press surrounding the threat that CBD would become illegal throughout the state.
In the summer of 2017, Indiana state agents conducted raids and began confiscating legal, non-psychoactive CBD products from stores after the state passed a law approving its use for those suffering from seizures and were on a registry.
Based on the outpouring of concerns that were expressed by store owners and CBD users, the state placed a moratorium on further action in November until it could review the CBD law it had passed. “The best thing was Attorney General Curtis Hill coming out against it,” said Jamie Campbell Petty, founder of the Indiana Hemp Industries Association. “Everyone spoke up and out at once.”
The message was heard loud and clear by the General Assembly, including Sen. Joe Zakas, R-Granger, Sen. David Niezgodski, D-South Bend, and others. “We have become extremely aware of the things it does to help people,” said Niezgodski, reciting the litany of ailments that people are using it for. “We want to help Hoosiers suffering from these conditions. Last year, we thought we got it done.”
Hill and the attorney general’s office says it was just enforcing the law as it was passed. The legislation passed in 2017 that allowed the use of CBD oil only for those who were suffering with seizures and were on a registry.
“The opinion we issued in 2017 was to provide a legal interpretation of the existing statute,” Curtis Hill replied in an email. “Our opinion was that CBD oil per that statute was illegal with a very limited exception for individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy who were registered with the state. I hope the General Assembly’s current work in this area produces legislation that is clearly written and easily understood.”
Now, legislation approving the sale and use of CBD oil is speeding toward approval. Niezgodski said the oil that is allowed in Indiana will be subject to testing to ensure it has less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive ingredient THC.
While it’s likely that CBD oil will be legalized, additional legislation is moving forward that would also allow for the expansion of industrial hemp production in Indiana. Hemp can be used to make CBD oil, hemp seeds, protein or even fiber used to make everything from clothing to door panels, said Campbell Petty from the Hemp Industries Association.
The legislation would allow Indiana to catch up with states including Kentucky, which has created many hundreds of jobs by allowing controlled cultivation of the plant, Petty said.