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AG: pot-derived oil illegal, except for epilepsy use

Photo Supplied: Indiana Attorney General's Office

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says a marijuana-derived oil that’s used as medicine for treating people with epilepsy is illegal in Indiana with one limited exception.

Hill released an advisory opinion Tuesday that says substances containing cannabidiol, or CBD, are illegal to possess, make and sell in Indiana under both state and federal law.

The sole exception is that CBD products can be used by people with epilepsy who have joined a new state registry.

But Hill’s advisory opinion leaves unclear how patients on that registry would be able to obtain CBD since it would be illegal to sell it in Indiana.

When Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation into law in April that created that new registry he said the legislation was about “empathy” for certain epilepsy patients.

Attorney General Hill also released the following statement in conjunction with his advisory opinion:

“Over recent weeks, I’ve worked with my staff to develop an advisory opinion regarding the status under Indiana law of the chemical compound cannabidiol – better known as ‘CBD.’ Cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, otherwise known as marijuana.

“This issue has drawn public attention this year following law-enforcement actions against Indiana stores marketing and selling ‘CBD oil,’ a substance delivered to consumers in dropper bottles, sprays or mists – all generally to be taken orally.

“My task at this juncture is not to express my personal view of what I believe the law ought to stipulate. My task, rather, is to help provide clarity regarding what the law already says as written.

“There is no doubt, as a matter of legal interpretation, that products or substances marketed generally for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana as well as under federal law.

“Indiana law does allow for a limited and focused exception created by House Enrolled Act 1148, signed earlier this year, aimed at individuals battling treatment-resistant epilepsy. This legislation pertains specifically to individuals properly added to the newly created Indiana State Department of Health Cannabidiol Registry.

“Cannabidiol is classified under state and federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance. State and federal laws that place cannabidiol in the category of a Schedule I controlled substance do not hinge on the degree or prevalence of pharmacological effects of a substance on a person.

“The manufacture, possession, use and sale of cannabidiol – and substances, food products or edible oils containing cannabidiol – are unlawful under both Indiana and federal law. Any individual possessing a substance containing cannabidiol – or anything packaged as such – in plain view of a law enforcement officer is subject to having that property seized. Only upon showing that one meets the limited conditions under Indiana law could one expect to avoid being prosecuted under Indiana law. Further, no one in Indiana is authorized to sell cannabidiol or any substance containing cannabidiol under state or federal law.”



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