Indiana law enforcement is apparently confused over what is exactly legal and illegal across the state in terms of CBD products.
According to a report from NBC affiliate WTHR, Indiana State Excise Police recently raided a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in the Indianapolis area, seizing thousands of dollars worth of a dietary supplement being sold under the CBD oil label. These types of hemp products, however, are not considered a violation of state or federal laws, as they are not produced in the same manner as the substance recently made legal in Indiana for epilepsy patients. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be sold in a retail grocery chain.
While it is true that the Indiana legislature passed an ultra-restrictive medical marijuana bill earlier this year, giving certain patients the ability to use CBD oil with a recommendation from a doctor, the law did not set up a system that allows these products to be sold in retail outlets like the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.
The regulations surrounding the new law, which went into effect last month, are not expected to be in place until sometime next year. Once the rules are released, only then will a select small group of patients be able to gain access to this medicine through Indiana pharmacies.
The CBD oil often found for sale in the vitamin aisle at popular grocery and health food stores in not derived from the same process as the medicine commonly referred to as cannabis oil. It is true that the “legal” version of CBD and the version that remains an outlaw substance in the eyes of the federal government are similar in a lot of ways. Only one (CBD dietary supplements) is manufactured from industrial hemp seed, while the other is produced from the flower of the cannabis plant.
“Hemp and marijuana are cousins in the plant world, but marijuana has a much higher THC content than hemp,” according to a website operated by Colorado marijuana dispensary Chronic Therapy. “Hemp oil contains low levels of CBD—typically less than 25 parts per million—while CBD oil can be up to 15 percent CBD. Because the plants are related, some unscrupulous sellers of hemp oil are trying to market it for its medicinal value, which is negligible.”
Nevertheless, Indiana police are apparently taking advantage of a statute that makes it illegal to sell “fake drugs,” as a means to justify the raid.
“We enforce illegal possession and sale of CBD oil in tobacco and alcoholic beverage licensed establishments,” a spokeswoman for the ATC told WTHR. “CBD oil is not legal to sell or possess in Indiana… The businesses found in possession are cited administratively under their alcohol or tobacco sales certificate for the preliminary charges of possession of marijuana and possession of [a] counterfeit controlled substance.”
So far, the Marion County prosecutor’s office has not yet reviewed the citation against Fresh Thyme.
No other raids of this kind have been reported.