Indiana lawmakers to resolve differences in 2 CBD oil measures

CBD oil. (WISH Photo/David Williams)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Cannabidiol oil may be a step closer to becoming formally legal to buy or sell in Indiana.

On Tuesday, one of the state Legislature’s last-surviving cannabis-derived oil bills cleared a hurdle, but not before a heated debate on the Senate floor about CBD oil that had several lawmakers vowing to vote “no.”

State Sen. Susan Glick, a Republican from LaGrange, said, “We are tinkering with something that could come back to haunt us.”

Explaining his vote, State Sen. Aaron Freeman, a Republican from Indianapolis, said that he hopes CBD oil doesn’t turn out to be a “snake oil-type product and a snake oil salesman giving us this stuff. I hope we don’t regret this decision when we pass this this year. So, I’m voting ‘no.'”

The controversy surrounds State Rep. William C. Friend’s bill defining legal CBD oil as having 0.3 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THD. The measure was approved Tuesday by the Senate with a 37-12 vote.

Friend, the Republican House speaker pro tempore, said, “I’m very confident that we’re going to make the CBD oil legal for Indiana residents to use, possess, retail, and clear up the confusion that’s out there about CBD oil.”

Friend said, “The governor has been supportive of CBD oil and has been supportive of its access to the public.”

He said, with his bill, labels will be involved and law enforcement could look at the label and know what’s in it.

Friend’s bill is one of two CBD oil bills still alive in the Statehouse. The other is State Sen. Michael Young’s bill. Both bills now head to a conference committee to resolve differences.

Young, a Republican from Indianapolis, said, “I see no reason why the House wouldn’t accept the conference committee report on (Senate Bill) 1214 and why the Senate wouldn’t accept the conference committee report on (House Bill) 52. When both those pass, they’ll be exactly the same; they’ll both go down to the governor.”

Another measure, an industrial hemp bill authored by State Rep. Jim Lucas, passed out of the Senate Monday. That bill was changed to call for a summer study of industrial hemp, which includes CBD oil.