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Indiana One Step Closer To Legalizing CBD Oil

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By A.J. Herrington

With the passage of a bill on Tuesday, Indiana is one step closer to legalizing CBD oil. The Indiana House passed the measure, Senate Bill 52 (SB-52) by a unanimous vote of 93-0. If the bill becomes law, it would legalize CBD oil with low levels of THC in the Hoosier State. Before that happens, however, the bill will have to be finalized by lawmakers and signed by Governor Eric Holcomb.

Senate Bill 52
Earlier this month, the Indiana Senate passed the original bill, authored by Representative Michael Young, a Republican from Indianapolis. SB-52 was then referred to the House on February 6.

Once under consideration there, representatives added several amendments to the bill.

As first written, the bill only allowed “zero THC hemp extract” products. Lawmakers changed that requirement to make goods with a maximum of 0.3 percent THC legal.

The bill explicitly specifies that hemp extracts under 0.3 percent THC are not controlled substances under state law. Another amendment eliminates a state CBD registry that was begun to allow epilepsy patients to use treatments with the cannabinoid.

The bill that created the registry caused widespread confusion in the state when it was passed last year.

The House also included protections for CBD users who fail workplace drug tests in its version.

Dr. Stuart Titus is the CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc., a company that sells CBD products under its brand HempMeds, among others. He told High Times that those safeguards for workers are necessary.

“In Indiana, one can go to various health food stores and purchase hemp food products—hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder—all with enough THC in them to where military personnel, government employees, or others who are drug tested may fail a drug screening. People use these hemp food products for their nutritional values and not to get high,” said Dr. Titus.

Next, the Senate and the House will have to reconcile differences in the bill passed by each body. The Senate could vote to concur or agree to the changes made by the House. But that does not appear likely based on statements made by the bill’s author.

“They changed the bill,” Young said to the IndyStar. “I’d rather get it back and look at it first. I’m just not going to concur. That’s all I can say right now.”

That means the legislation will most likely be headed to a conference committee. Lawmakers in both houses will then have the chance to iron out the differences they have. Chances of an agreement seem likely, according to Republican Rep. Bill Friend of Macy.

“My goal is to clear up the confusion about CBD oil and make it available to all people with some discomfort,” he said.

Indiana may see even more CBD in its near future. Two more bills will also be voted on by the state Senate soon.

One of them, House Bill 1137, would establish an industrial hemp agriculture pilot program. That would allow Indiana farmers to legally grow hemp in the state.

Original Publication in HighTimes.