Indiana Legalizes Medical CBD Oil, Again
Indiana enacted a limited medical marijuana program last year, but there was confusion over the legality of CBD oils with low THC. After months of uncertainty, the issue may now be resolved.
Published on March 22, 2018

Indiana parents and business owners are breathing a sigh of relief today after Governor Eric Holcomb signed a new bill clearly legalizing low-THC CBD oils into law. It was less than a year ago when Holcomb signed the state's first medical marijuana bill, allowing patients suffering from specific kinds of seizure disorders to receive CBD oil-based treatments.

But months after signing this law, Holcomb ordered state excise police to raid several stores and seize any CBD products they were selling. In November, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued an official opinion that these products were still illegal in the state, regardless of their THC content, due to the federal Schedule I classification of cannabis. Following Hill's opinion, the governor gave stores a 60-day moratorium to sell or dispose of all CBD products.

At last, this confusion is over. State legislators passed a bill officially legalizing the sale and possession of CBD oil in the state earlier this month, and Gov. Holcomb signed the bill into law this Wednesday. "Indiana lawmakers delivered a bill that ensures Hoosiers who benefit from CBD oil can access it," Holcomb said in a statement, reported by NBC affiliate WTHR13. "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."

The new law will require manufacturers to test every batch of CBD oil to ensure that the THC levels are under 0.3 percent. Each individual product is also required to have a QR code on the label, which links to information about the ingredients and the manufacturer. This will require companies wishing to sell CBD in Indiana to create special labels specific to the state.

"To have all these companies including mine have special labels for Indiana, and the rest of the country we have a different label, is pretty silly," Nathan Renschler, owner of a CBD manufacturing firm, said to the IndyStar. "They don't have any state regulations on any other vitamin or supplement, but this one gets special regulations and it's not for any good reason."

The new law does not broach the topic of whether or not it is actually legal to manufacture or process CBD in the state, opening the door for further confusion in the future. State Rep. Matt Pierce told the IndyStar that he expects that legislators will need to revisit this law in order to further clarify the issue. "We're going to have to come back and fix this next year," he said, "but we've got to at least get it legal."

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Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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