INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that would legalize the sale and possession of CBD oil with a THC composition of no more than 0.3 percent passed 35-13 Monday afternoon through the Senate.
Senate Bill 52 defines “low THC hemp extract” as a product containing no more than 0.3 percent THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and no other controlled substances. A non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant, CBD, or cannabidiol, is used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
The bill will now make its way through the House.
Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, presented the bill, saying he found no side effect that should make this product illegal. However, it would have numerous benefits, he said.
“I think the majority of our committee couldn’t figure out a good reason why ordinary citizens shouldn’t have this drug,” Young said.
The bill was originally written to legalize products with zero THC extract. It was amended, however, to read that products containing 0.3 percent of THC could be legalized.
Senators who opposed the bill worried about federal guidelines when it comes to CBD oil, saying Indiana is ahead of the game and should wait until hearing more from the federal government.
Sen. James Tomes, R-Wadesville, disagreed, urging senators to think about the families who are affected by health issues, which can be relieved by using CBD oil.
“At this point, I’m interested in what the federal government has to say, but I’m more interested in what our citizens have to say,” Tomes said.
SB 52 joins two House bills which have passed legalizing CBD oil and its production.
House Bill 1137 passed unanimously through the House last week. The bill would establish a pilot program allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant with low THC.
The bill would allow farmers to grow the plant, which wouldn't provide a high for people who ingested it. Hemp can be used for a variety of purposes, including food or fuel. It also has numerous health benefits and can work to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
The other bill, House Bill 1214, legalizes CBD oil and repeals a previous law that required a CBD registry.
The three bills will now switch chambers before being passed into law.
Young closed his statements by saying CBD has no downsides, unlike opioids or other drugs.
"No one has died from this drug," Young said.