INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A marijuana-derived oil that’s used as medicine for treating people with
epilepsy is illegal in Indiana with one limited exception, the state’s
attorney general said Tuesday in an advisory opinion.
The opinion from
Attorney General Curtis Hill states that substances containing cannabidiol,
or CBD, are illegal to possess, make and sell in Indiana under both state
and federal law. He said in a statement that police officers can seize any
“substance containing cannabidiol - or anything packaged as such.”
The sole exception
is that CBD products can be used by people with epilepsy who are on a new
state registry, his opinion says.
“Only upon showing
that one meets the limited conditions under Indiana law could one expect to
avoid being prosecuted under Indiana law,” Hill said.
When Gov. Eric
Holcomb signed legislation into law in April that created that registry he
said it was about “empathy” for certain epilepsy patients.
non-binding 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.
President Pro Tem David Long said Tuesday that legislators will have to
review the attorney general’s opinion before deciding whether to revise the
law during the new legislative session that starts in January.
But Long said the
intent of the law was to allow medical use of CBD oil and that those needing
it have to be able to buy it.
In the months after
the law took effect, Indiana State Excise Police confiscated the product
from nearly 60 stores, stating that the law only allowed those on the
registry to have CBD.
That contradicted a
2014 industrial hemp law that Indiana State Police and CBD advocates say
legalized the substance as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC,
the active ingredient in marijuana that gives users their “high.”
State Excise Police
eventually stopped seizing CBD products but waited to return them until
“results of further lab testing are received and the legal analysis pursuant
to Indiana law is complete.”
Hill, a Republican
who took office in January, has been an outspoken opponent of medical
marijuana and has pointed out the dangers of addiction and impaired driving.
In an op-ed piece,
he wrote that Indiana should not follow other states in “flirting with the
folly of legalizing marijuana” and said “Indiana lawmakers should stand firm
in their resolve to keep our state on a better path.”