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Indiana Governor Demands That Stores Remove Any CBD Products Containing THC

Governor Holcomb's order is baffling to other state officials, as most CBD products have trace amounts of THC, but not enough to have a psychoactive effect.

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Lead image via iStock Photo

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has ordered that all stores in his state remove or sell any CBD products containing any level of THC within the next 60 days. Excise police will "perform normal, periodic regulatory spot checks of CBD oil products," Holcomb said in a statement. "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."

Holcomb's statement comes just a week after an official opinion by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, which asserted that CBD is illegal in the state, regardless of its THC content. "Simply put, cannabidiol is a Schedule 1 controlled substance because marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance," Hill said, according to the IndyStar. However, this decision seems to contradict a 2014 industrial hemp law that legalized CBD in the state as long as it contained less than 0.3% THC content.

Indiana's medical marijuana program is currently one of the most restrictive programs in the U.S. The law only allows patients suffering from epilepsy to receive CBD oil treatments, and only if the patient signs on to the state's CBD registry. Before they can be approved, patients must first have tried two traditional pharmaceutical epilepsy treatments and shown no signs of improvement under these drugs. Hill's intent to make even low-THC CBD oil illegal would likely prevent this small number of approved patients from obtaining medical cannabis.

Nathan Renschler, owner of two stores that sell CBD products in Indiana, said that the state's medical cannabis industry will need to lobby lawmakers during next year's legislative session in order to make progress on the issue. "We're not going to go out easily," Renschler told the IndyStar. "We're going to drag our heels and see what we can accomplish in those 60 days to get the governor's office and the attorney general to wake up."

State Sen. Jim Tomes is already planning on proposing legislation that would expand the number of patients who can use CBD in the state. Tomes told the IndyStar that he has received calls from his constituents touting the benefits of CBD for treating Parkinson's disease, arthritis, and mental illness. "I just don't understand why is there such a resistance to allow people to get this product here," he said. "You can't abuse it. It either works or it doesn't."

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Mota