Updated March 23, 2018
CBD is one step away from legalization in Indiana. After compromise between the House and Senate, Senate Bill 52 landed on Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk late on Wednesday, March 14. The bill will legalize CBD oil with low levels of THC and end the year-long confusion over CBD in the Hoosier state.
To clarify, CBD oil is legal in the United States. However, the legality of CBD in Indiana has been shrouded in confusion for the past year. By enacting SB 52 into law, Indiana makes it clear to constituents, law enforcement agencies, and politicians that CBD oil is legal in the state and removes any room for misinterpretation.
Timeline: The Legality of CBD in Indiana
CBD LEGALIZED FOR PATIENTS WITH EPILEPSY
April 26, 2017
Gov. Holcomb signed House Bill 1148. The bill created a CBD registry for epilepsy patients and made CBD products legal for constituents suffering from treatment-resistant epileptic seizures.
STATE EXCISE POLICE RAID MARKET
June 14, 2017
Indiana State Excise Police raided a Fresh Thyme market and confiscated thousands of dollars’ worth of CBD products. This raid sparked the legal debate of CBD in the state. At the time, Indiana state law defined industrial hemp as a separate from marijuana if the final CBD product contained less than 0.3% THC.
In response to the raids, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission stated that CBD oil was not legal to sell or possess in Indiana. That spring, dozens of stores were raided and issued citations for possession of marijuana. The state agency that oversees the Indiana State Excise Police later admitted they did not know if CBD was legal or not.
When made aware of the raids, state leaders issued a statewide postponement of CBD oil confiscation until the attorney general could study the issue. The Indiana State Police issued a memo to enforcement officers stating that CBD oil was legal.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RELEASES AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT
November 21, 2017
Attorney General Curtis Hill released an official statement on CBD. It stated, “As a matter of legal interpretation, products or substances marketed for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana, and under federal law.”
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB DIRECTS A 60-DAY MORATORIUM
November 28, 2017
Gov. Holcomb directed the Indiana State Excise Police to warn store owners selling CBD oil of a violation rather than issuing citations for the following 60 days.
In a statement email to Eyewitness News, the governor stated, “Applicable law and opinions guide me to direct the Excise Police to perform normal, periodic regulatory spot checks of CBD oil products, focusing on those products which contain any level of THC. Because CBD oil has been sold in Indiana for several years, the excise police will use the next 60 days to educate, inform and issue warnings to retailers so there is a reasonable period of time for them to remove products that contain THC. In the meantime, the General Assembly will have the opportunity to review existing CBD oil laws, as well as labeling requirements, while no confiscation of products occurs.”
Residents and business owners were not made aware of what would happen after 60 days.
Within this time frame, Gov. Holcomb also asked lawmakers to address the issue. In response, state lawmakers introduced ten separate bills that would legalize CBD oil in Indiana, including SB 52.
Despite the statement made by the governor, the state “erroneously” issued fines to retailers selling CBD oil.
SENATE BILL 52 APPROVED BY SENATE COMMITTEE
January 23, 2018
SB 52 was approved by the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee and sent to the full Senate. The committee amended the bill to raise the legal THC level from zero to 0.3%, eliminate the CBD registry for epilepsy patients, and provide legal protection for individuals who fail a drug screening due to the small amount of THC in some CBD oil. Under the bill, CBD products in Indiana would be required to meet labeling and testing protocols. Manufacturers would be required to provide a certificate of analysis from an independent lab to confirm the levels of THC in the product.
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB EXTENDS MORATORIUM
January 25, 2018
Gov. Holcomb extended the 60-day moratorium through the end of the legislative session to give state lawmakers time to legalize CBD.
In a statement, the governor stated, “I said back in November that I was open to extending the education period on CBD oil products to give legislators the time they need to add clarity to Indiana law. Lawmakers have indicated they would like more time to consider proposed legislation. For that reason, I am extending the education period for CBD oil products and the moratorium on issuing citations or removing products form retailers until the legislative session concludes.”
SENATE BILL 52 PASSED IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE
February 5, 2018
The Indiana Senate passed SB 52.
February 27, 2018
The Indiana House unanimously passed SB 52. The bill was then sent to a conference committee to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill.
GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL
On Wednesday, March 21, Gov. Holcomb signed SB 52. The bill will go into effect on July 1 of this year.