Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Throughout the country, people have started to investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol, also known as CBD. CBD a cannabinoid is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. Unlike THC, it is nonintoxicating. Some anecdotal reports and preliminary research indicate that it may have beneficial effects including anti-inflammatory benefits, pain relief and help with conditions that include depression, anxiety and insomnia.
But, with the patchwork of laws in the US and hemp’s close botanical relationship to marijuana, it is always good to double check whether the remedies you seek are legal. Here’s what we’ve been able to learn about the legality of CBD in Indiana.
Is CBD oil legal in Indiana?
Yes, CBD oil is legal in Indiana. You can also legally acquire other CBD products that include CBD tinctures, topical applications like ointments and creams, CBD gummies, cookies and capsules.
There is no minimum legal age for buying CBD products in Indiana, nor are there maximum possession limits. However, all CBD products in Indiana must be derived from industrial hemp and contain less than .3% THC.
Unlike hemp extracts, hemp flower is not legal in the state. It is legal to transport hemp through Indiana, but not legal to possess it in smokable form.
What are the current CBD laws in Indiana?
At the current time, hemp-based CBD is legal in Indiana. Since Indiana does not have legal recreational marijuana or a medical marijuana program, marijuana-based CBD products are not legal in the state.
Hemp cultivation was legalized nationwide in 2018 as part of the Farm Bill. This law reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity. Previously, it had been lumped in with marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
Indiana was one of several states that began exploring the potential of legal hemp before the federal law.
In 2013, two bills were introduced that would have been steps toward legal hemp cultivation. The first, SR31, would have urged the study of legalization of industrial hemp and its potential benefits. The other, SB 580, would authorize the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp by licensed individuals. However, neither bill was signed into law.
The next year, the state legislature attempted again to bring legal cultivation of hemp to the state for producing CBD and other hemp products. The first bill, SB 314, would also have legalized small amounts of marijuana. This bill, however, did not make it into law.
A second bill, SB 357, however, was successful. In accordance with the pilot program legalized in the 2014 federal Farm Bill, this bill would allow for the licensed cultivation and production of industrial hemp. The purpose of this law was to allow the study of the benefits of a hemp program in the state. However, this law did not formally permit the sale of hemp-based CBD in the state.
More potential progress in hemp legalization was made the next year, when the state legislature considered a bill that would legally exempt hemp from the state’s definition of marijuana. However, the bill did not make it out of committee.
Also in 2015, both the state House and Senate considered bills that would legalize medical cannabis. The bills would allow people with certain severe conditions to get permission to be treated with medical marijuana with the approval of their doctors. However, both bills stalled and were not passed by the end of the legislative session.
They had better luck in 2017, when the state passed its first medical CBD law. In April of that year, Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law that would allow the use of CBD oil for uncontrollable seizure. Under this law, legal CBD would be required to have .3% THC or less.
The next year, CBD was legalized in the state for any purpose. Retailers who obtained a license would be able to sell a range of CBD products in the state. The law also provided for larger penalties for any merchant who sold high THC extracts that were fraudulently labeled as a low-THC CBD product. Merchants who did this would lose their license to sell and would alo be subject to criminal penalties.
2018 also brought a wider range of legal CBD products to the state. HB 1137 explicitly allowed industrial hemp commodities like CBD products to be included in the commercial definition of “industrial hemp.” The law also specified that the state’s definition of industrial hemp included resins of hemp plants.
The 2018 laws also set forth labeling requirements for CBD products that could help customers be sure what they were purchasing. All products must have a scannable bar code or QR code that link to documentation about the product being sold. Information that must be shown include the product name, batch date and size, ingredient list and the CBD concentration. Buyers must also be able to download a certificate of analysis that shows low THC content.
Despite CBD’s legality, there were still some perils for those who prefer it in the form of smokable hemp flower. Hemp flower conforms with both state and federal law that requires that legal hemp products contain less than .3% THC. However, Indiana police officers said that they would arrest people who possessed hemp flower, even though it was, at the time, legal in the state.
The reason is that hemp flower both looks and smells like marijuana. Drug detecting dogs will possibly alert for marijuana when shown hemp. Indiana police often use the Duquenois-Levine Test, a chemical test that tests for cannabinoids. In a test run for the IndyStar, hemp flowers tested positive. Police are unable to specifically test for THC, despite the fact that THC content is the difference between illegal marijuana and legal hemp.
Lawmakers first attempted to outlaw smokable hemp flower in 2019, through Senate Enrolled Act 516. Under this law, possession of any smokable flower would be prohibited. The bill was signed into law. However, in the days before the act was set to go into effect, hemp seller and wholesalers filed a federal lawsuit challenging the prohibition. They sought an injunction on the grounds that the law would prohibit the federally legal transport of legally grown hemp.
While this lawsuit was making its way through the courts, the state legislature made an another attempt at prohibition of hemp flower through Act 335. This act banned the use of smokable hemp flower. However, the act would still allow individuals to ship legal hemp flower through the state. The reason for this is to conform with the federal 2018 Farm Bill, which allows for the interstate transportation of hemp.
Can I purchase CBD in Indiana?
Yes, you can purchase hemp-based CBD in Indiana. CBD is available in a range of forms that include oils, tinctures, topical applications like ointments and edibles. It can be purchased from licensed retailers throughout the state.
It is also legal to buy CBD online and have it shipped to you in Indiana. Many people choose to buy online in order to get a wider array of options.