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Indiana restarts war on CBD, declaring all products illegal

Indiana’s slow but welcome progress on CBD legislation has been dashed, with the state’s attorney general declaring the compound illegal.

State excise police are back checking stores selling CBD products under the instruction of Governor Eric Holcomb, just months after the decision was taken to stop raids and seizures. The Indianapolis Star reported that vendors have 60 days to either sell their CBD products or take them off the shelves.

According to Holcomb, excise police intend to “educate, inform and issue warnings to retailers” over the next 60 days, instead of immediately taking action since CBD oil has been sold in the state for many years. He thinks this is a “reasonable period of time” for stores to stop selling products with THC.

But this doesn’t make any sense, since nobody is saying that THC products should be permitted in Indiana. CBD products sold in the state are hemp-derived, and some of them have even been testing to prove they don’t contain the psychoactive substance.

However, Attorney General Curtis Hill has taken a much clearer and tougher stance, arguing that even CBD products with no THC are illegal in the Hoosier state.

Hill says that the federal government’s Schedule I classification of marijuana on the Controlled Substances Act also covers cannabidiol, since the compound is a marijuana extract. Schedule I substances are considered to have no recognized medical uses.

What Hill fails to mention is that a 2014 state industrial hemp law legalized hemp products providing their THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent. Furthermore, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spokesman recently stated that the agency would not pursue CBD oil users because of bigger priorities, and urged state law enforcement to do the same.

Indiana stores suffering from CBD indecision

State excise police had already started to seize CBD products before Governor Holcomb gave the 60-day warning, but had to stop after the row concerning Atttorney General Hill’s order and Indiana’s 2014 industrial hemp law. But for many the damage has already been done, with seizures leading to several hundred dollars’ worth of lost stock, with no sign of compensation.

Uncertainty now surrounds the CBD law passed by Indiana’s legislature in April 2017 permitting qualified epilepsy patients to possess CBD oil medication – a program which is set to begin in February 2018. But if the governor isn’t even up to speed on the CBD products sold in his state and the attorney general deems all CBD products, it’s not obvious how patients will be able to acquire the CBD oil they’ve fought for.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the most important cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. Non-psychoactive and appreciated in many parts of the world for its therapeutic qualities, CBD products are a good way for people to enjoy many of the helpful effects of marijuana without get high. Many companies make CBD oil products using industrial hemp, an unusual very low-THC strain of cannabis sativa, if required to keep below a THC threshold.

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