CBD crackdown continues in Indiana even after medical legislation passes

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CBD crackdown continues in Indiana even after medical legislation passes

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

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A new law in Indiana which allows people with certain types of epilepsy to access cannabidiol oil for treatment caused a statewide crackdown on stores which carry the product.

Lawmakers passed the legislation in April, but vague wording confused patients, lawmakers and law enforcement officials alike. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound of the cannabis plant which contains medical properties but does not get the user “high.”

State Excise Police data show the agency confiscated more than 3,000 CBD products from 60 stores during a five week span after the law passed. The raids were stopped in June after the legality of the busts were questioned.

An email obtained through a public records request showed an excise police commander who said the law indicated they could begin confiscating the product if it wasn’t being used to treat epilepsy.

Some lawmakers and police officers claimed CBD was already legal because of a 2014 law which removed hemp products from the state’s controlled substance list.

“All we said was desperate parents that were seeking treatment would be free from prosecution,” said Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, who carried the bill in the House. “So the law is really silent on the legality.”

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is reviewing the legislation and plans to issue a formal opinion on the legality of CBD products.