CBD oil, which has gained prominence as an alternative treatment for pain, seizures, and a slew of other medical conditions, has come under fire by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. According to the Indy Star, Hill’s opinion on the oil, formed after consultation with experts and months of consideration, is that as it is derived from a plant that is related to marijuana, it must be considered under the same laws that make marijuana growing, sale, and use illegal in the state of Indiana. Rather than being the end of the matter, though, Hill’s official stance seems to have only muddied the waters, and led to greater backlash from merchants, CBD oil users, and even some segments of the state police.
How Did This Mess Get Started?
The whole reason this debate over CBD oil got started in Indiana was because Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law, creating a registry of epileptic patients who want to use CBD oil to ease the symptoms that come with their condition. This ostensibly good act opened up immediate confusion over whether CBD oil was, or wasn’t, a drug that required that kind of list.
On the one hand, the legal logic goes that if epilepsy patients have to be put on a register in order to be allowed to use CBD oil for their conditions, then any other use of that product by anyone not cleared for its use should be illegal. This is where Hill’s opinion of CBD as a cannabis extract (which in his view should be classified no differently than marijuana) comes from. After all, if CBD oil was perfectly legal to use, then why would anyone need special permission from the government to use it?
However, it should be noted that the attorney general’s opinion is not the official law of the land. It certainly has weight, and the legal reasoning behind that opinion may go into clarifying how certain laws will be worded and enforced in the future, but Hill’s statement is far from the end of the matter. Because Indiana also passed an industrial help law in 2014, and it was this law that state police and advocates of CBD say made the oil legal. This law allowed hemp products to be bought and sold legally, provided they contain less that .3 percent THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes users to get high. CBD oil, though it is a cannabis extract, does not contain more than trace elements of THC, and as such it should be legal under this existing law.
Who Is Right?
This is a sticky issue for a lot of reasons. On the one hand, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under federal law. Despite all of the state regulations to the contrary in places like Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and others, that may play a part in how Indiana lawmakers view the issue. On the other hand, hemp which does not contain an abundance of THC is something Indiana law already allows for, and one would think that CBD oil falls under that category. Especially given the tacit admission that the legislature has made that CBD oil is an alternative treatment for seizures, and that it could have other medicinal benefits as well.
Since there doesn’t seem to be a hard-and-fast answer to this question, with CBD oil being left on the shelves in some parts of the state and confiscated in other places, lawmakers are going to have to examine the issue and rule on it. Especially if they want to have a single, universal policy across the state for how CBD oil is treated, who can sell it, and who is allowed to use it.
Will Green Wellness Life Continue To Ship To Indiana?
The short answer? Yes. Our goal is to help everyone live healthier lives through industrial hemp, and we will follow all federal laws regarding its use. We will continue to ship CBD oil to Indiana until we are told that doing so is no longer federally legal. Let’s hope that day doesn’t come!