Smokable CBD products could become illegal under Senate hemp bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana could soon be a step closer to legal hemp growth, production and sales statewide if a bill that already passed in the Indiana Senate also passes in the House.

But, the measure has some people in the cannabidiol (CBD) industry seeing red instead of green.

CBD has become popular for some people. “It helps them with pain, inflammation, anxiety,” said Jeffrey Shelton, co-owner of Happy Daze Smoke Shop, a vaporizer store in Indianapolis.

Shelton uses CBD drops. “It helps me with pain,” he said. “I’ve had chronic pain in my back for almost seven years now.”

Vape liquids and flowers with CBD and smokable forms of CBD that are currently legal in Indiana would become illegal under the proposed bill. CBD oil would remain legal. 

State Sen. Randy Head, a Republican from Logansport, said, “I think that having the flower be possessed only by a licensed farmer, producer or seller is an important piece. I’m trying to work on the other parts.” 

Head said law enforcement has asked to ban the flower that’s now legal. That’s because it’s tough for police to tell the difference between marijuana and CBD flowers. 

“Law enforcement often doesn’t know what they’re looking at,” the senator said. “Is this hemp or is this marijuana, for instance? You have people who could hide marijuana inside a hemp product or could get a container they bought legal hemp in and put marijuana inside it and transport it. We don’t want those things to happen.”

The vape store co-owner is concerned about outlawing what’s already legal for pain patients. “I feel like it’s unfair to the consumer because, especially with the flower, it’s the cheapest way, dollar-per-milligram, for people to get CBD,” Shelton said. 

The measure has been referred to the the House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. No hearing has been set for the measure.

The state senator said Monday he has also heard from upset people in the CBD industry and plans to meet with them. “I can’t promise that everybody’s going to be happy, but I’m going to try to find a solution if we can do that.” 

Alonzo Calloway with the Indy Hemp Co. in Indianapolis said in a statement Monday:

“We here at Indy Hemp Company recognize the economical growth potential for hemp as a crop. Putting restrictions on certain products will only hinder this growth. CBD flower is a fast intake method with a great deal of benefits for many consumers. With a collaborative effort from local businesses, law enforcement, and state officials there must be a better approach than banning any CBD products/intake methods. We recommend stores to provide customers with a copy of the Indiana compliant certificate of analysis, a copy of the receipt, a product that has a quality tamper proof seal, and suggest using the product at home.”

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