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Bill that would legalize CBD oil products passes through Senate committee


The medication, high in cannabidiol, or CBD, and low on the psychoactive THC, is used to treat epilepsy, seizures and muscle spasticity. Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement in November that Indiana retailers who sell CBD products would get a 60-day window to continue selling the substance without confiscation or legal trouble. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

A bill that would legalize the sale and possession of CBD oil with a THC composition of no more than 0.3 percent has passed through an Indiana Senate committee. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant which is sometimes used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders. 

Senate Bill 52 was amended and passed 7-2 in a Tuesday committee meeting. Originally, the bill read that products with zero THC would be legalized. However, Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, offered an amendment that expanded the bill to legalize extracts with 0.3 percent or less of THC.

S.B. 52 now heads to the Senate floor where it will be read twice before a final vote. 

The potential legislation comes after some confusion during the 2017 session after Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law allowing people diagnosed with certain medical conditions, specifically epilepsy, to use CBD oil. 

The law, however, caused confusion over whether the product was legal to sell in stores. Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. announced in a Nov. 21 advisory opinion the product was illegal in almost all circumstances. Hill wrote products for human consumption that contain CBD are unlawful both in Indiana and on a federal level.

A week later, Holcomb gave Indiana State Excise Police 60 days “to educate, inform and issue warnings to retailers” and give them enough time to remove products containing CBD oil. 

S.B. 52, along with the two other bills, are intended to settle this confusion.

Laurel Demkovich

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