By Quinn Fitzgerald
INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers are closer to being able to buy CBD oil for their medical needs as a result of actions in the Indiana House this week.
On Wednesday, House members unanimously approved House Bill 1137, which makes clear that hemp and its related products, like CBD oil or cannabidiol, are not marijuana and therefore are not regulated by the state’s drug laws.
Tuesday, the House also unanimously approved House Bill 1214 which would allow anyone to buy CBD oil. Right now, the substance is supposed to be limited to patients with epilepsy.
Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour and author of HB 1137, said his proposed legislation could open up new markets for the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in Indiana.
“This bill is comprehensive,” Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, said, explaining it provides the framework for hemp production. He also noted that many people have touted the health benefits of CBD oil
During the House session, Rep. Randall Frye, R-Greensburg, quizzed Lucas about whether regulators would be able to distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana as it grows in the field. Lucas said no, but explained that hemp growers would have to register with the state Department of Agriculture.
“We have covered everything, from A-Z” Lucas said. “Everything that is in this bill for Indiana to get off on the right foot.” He told lawmakers that hemp has the potential to develop into the cash crop that tobacco used to be in southern Indiana.
Under both laws, CBD oil cannot contain more than 0.3 percent of THC, the substance in marijuana that gives users a high.
Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette, joined lawmakers in speaking in favor of HB 1137, saying, “Many people that are interested in health care are interested in this bill.”
Quinn Fitzgerald is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.