Indiana lawmakers may study taxing of CBD oil, e-liquid


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This summer, state lawmakers plan to talk about taxing CBD oil and tobacco vaping products.

Lawmakers who will consider the topic in a summer study session have yet to be named, and no meeting dates have been set. 

“I think the summer study is a good thing,” vape store owner Mason Odle said. “It gives lawmakers more time to vet out, instead of just jumping to conclusions like they have in the past.” 

Six years ago, Odle stopped smoking and switched to vaping. He tried just about everything to help him quit smoking tobacco.

“At the time, it was very nerve-racking. I smoked for 17 years,” said Odle, the owner of the Just Vapor chain that sells CBD products and vape products. “I tried Chantix. I tried Wellbutrin. I tried Nicorette gum. I tried the patch. I was hypnotized.” 

“I think the summer study is a good thing,” Odle said. “It gives lawmakers more time to vet out, instead of just jumping to conclusions like they have in the past.” 

In this year’s session, a proposal to tax e-cigarette liquid — sometimes it’s called e-liquid — passed the House but died in the Senate because lawmakers could not agree on exactly how the tax would work.

Odle said he does not like the idea of adding a tax to CBD oil or e-liquids.

“If they want to increase or add a tax to the e-liquid product, then they should tax the NicoDerm, Nicorette gums, all the other products that have nicotine in them as well if we’re going to be fair.” Odle said.

People in downtown Indianapolis on Monday had mixed reactions to the idea.

“It’s not a need,” said Indianapolis resident Nikhil Bachhuv, who is a nonsmoker. “It’s something people, like, want to have. So, yeah, maybe.” 

Indianapolis resident Suresh Nomulea, who is a smoker, said, “I think we are already being charged much. I don’t think we need to get more taxes.” 

“For people that don’t (smoke), it’s a great savings for us, but (for) people that do, I think it’s one of those sin taxes,” said Jetta Vaughn, who is a nonsmoker. “It’s still not good for you or hasn’t been proven to be better for you than tobacco, so definitely.” 

An advisory from the U.S. surgeon general said most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the brain, which continues to develop until about age 25, the advisory said.

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