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Ind. Gov. Eric Holcomb directs Indiana excise police to check retailers' CBD oil supply for THC

Posted at 10:07 AM, Nov 28, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has directed the state's excise police to perform checks of CBD oil products, making sure they do not contain any level of THC.

Holcomb said the excise police will use the next 60 days to "educate, inform and issue warnings to retailers so there is a reasonable period of time for them to remove products that contain THC."

No confiscation will occur during those 60 days.

"In the meantime, the General Assembly will have the opportunity to review existing CBD oil laws, as well as labeling requirements, while no confiscation of products occurs," Holcomb said in a statement. "The legislation I signed in the spring continues to help protect Hoosiers struggling with epilepsy who use CBD oil products for treatment, provided they register with the Indiana State Department of Health."

Holcomb's new directive comes a week after Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill declared CBD oil illegal in the state. Hill's ruling could cause a conflict with a bill signed into law by Holcomb this year. 

PREVIOUS | CBD oil declared illegal in Indiana by Attorney General Curtis Hill 

HEA 1148 allowed for a registry for certain physicians and caregivers to use hemp oil for children with intractable epilepsy. It was also to encourage the further study of its use in treating the epilepsy. The CBD oil used to treat those people would have no more than .3 percent of THC, the chemical that gets people high.

Austin Rhodus, CEO of Dreem Nutrition, which distributes CBD oil to stores throughout central Indiana, said sales are higher than ever because customers are afraid they won't be able to buy the oil much longer.

Rhodus said his products do not have any THC and he doesn't not plan to stop selling the product. he started a petition supporting CBD oil and it gathered 10,000 signatures in five days,

"We're not talking about more people high walking around the streets. We're just talking about more people being able to walk around the streets. Period," he said.

CBD oil is made from hemp, a plant that has little or no THC and cannot cause a high at all, unlike its cannabis cousin marijuana. 

Customers at Sunspot Market in Kokomo are also buying CBD oil quickly. 

"I can get through my work day without struggling to stay awake," said Sally Smith, who uses the oil to treat nerve pain brought on by Multiple Sclerosis. "I think it's really frustrating. It's everybody's right to feel good and to be normal and to have a normal life and to be able to enjoy life."

Customer Tony Willison said stores in Peru, Indiana have already began removing the oil, which forced him to drive to Kokomo to buy some for his wife.

"If it's going to improve her quality of life then why should it not be legal," he said. 

The law for those on the registry remains in place, Hill said in his ruling. But the question remains of how those patients will get access to the drug if stores will be cited for selling it. 

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