Has Indiana Legalized Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana policy reforms have been taking the Midwest by storm, but Indiana is yet to show any movement on the cannabis reform bills in the recent session. The finger points at NO.
Indiana has not yet legalized the usage of marijuana of any kind.
The last two months have seen a flurry of activities happening as far as changing the way cannabis rules are handled in the state but to no avail! However, dozens of bills were introduced pertaining to decriminalizing, legalizing, allowing the usage of marijuana, and more. And according to Veriheal, patients must not lose hope. They can join the waiting list to speak to a medical marijuana doctor once mmj is legalized in the state. As soon as things get the green signal, Veriheal will start taking appointments and consultation sessions.
The state, for now, is only allowing usage of CBD oil from hemp with only 0.3% THC concentrate. If we go by the record, back in 2019 and 2023, several bills about legalizing the usage of marijuana were introduced but, a committee hearing was not permitted.
According to bill 201, the only marijuana bill that received the final hearing and reached the senate unscathed, a person, if found driving a vehicle containing marijuana with a certain amount of metabolite in his or her blood, might not be prosecuted. However, if the person drives the vehicle under the influence of marijuana, then he or she will get into trouble. However, this bill still awaits a signature for Gov. Eric Holcomb.
The things you should know
We know that litigation over hemp laws in Indiana is going on. In a situation like this, the current and prospective cannabis cultivators along with cannabis wholesalers and retailers who want to do business in Indiana must be aware of a few points. It is, in fact, true, that the genuine effort to make the usage of medical marijuana legal, has gained feeble traction within the legislature.
- The OISC’s website has now made the electronic application for the 2023 Indiana grower/handler license available.
- As stated earlier, Indiana strictly abides by the federal laws and only allows the usage of CBD oil derived from hemp with 0.3% THC concentrate, not more than that.
- Any CBD oil that is derived from hemp being distributed in Indiana must not contain THC more than 0.3% and this is a stringent rule.
- Compliance with the analysis certificate and packaging needs is a must.
- According to the current situation, with all the ongoing litigation, Indiana does not allow possession or delivery or transportation of hemp bud and hemp flower. If the raw CBD products are not procured from a producer who does not have a license in some other state, it is illegal. The transit has to be continuous through Indiana to the licensed producer in any other state.
- Without a proper license, hemp-derived CBD oil products will be considered illegal irrespective of what THC concentrate amount is.
- The cultivation of hemp that can be smoked, marijuana production of any kind such as medical or recreational, production of unlicensed hemp that is considered marijuana; all is illegal in Indiana.
- Cultivation of marijuana in Indiana for personal usage is out of the question. However, the state was one of the first ones to approve the production of industrial hemp only for commercial purposes and research.
The current situation is such that if you are caught red-handed with even a single joint (possession of less than 30 gm of marijuana), you will be punished. You can expect at least one year of incarceration and a penalty of up to $5000.
If you possess more than 30 grams, you will be charged as a D category felon. You can end up in jail for more than 2.5 years with a fine of up to $10000.
Unfortunately, Indiana is one of the 14 states in the US that does not have an efficient or effective medical marijuana law.
The history of legislation
Back in 1913, Indiana banned the sale of marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation. After the Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937 by Harry Anslinger, some very stringent rules and regulations on the usage of marijuana were implemented in the state of Indiana. These rules were the strictest of all in the entire US.
Since 2013, lawmakers have been trying their best to change the legislation. The level of persistence has remained disturbingly low. However, every time efforts proved futile. At the beginning of 2015, many bills stating the legalization of marijuana usage for certain specified medical reasons were introduced both in the House (HB 1487) and the Senate (SB 284). But, ultimately the bills never made it to the final hearing rather, they died in the Senate itself.
In the year 2018, Gov. Eric Holcomb permitted the senate enrolled in Act 52 that approves the usage of CBD derived from industrial hemp which contains low THC. The rules guiding the sale and packaging of CBD oils were made quite clear. Things are looking up because this law provides a clearer idea than what was mentioned in “low-THC law for patients with seizure disorders- 2017”. The law only allowed CBD oil with low THC for patients suffering from nasty epileptic seizures but, did not state anything about how it can be bought or from where. No clear indication was provided on the legality of producing CBD in Indiana. It was surely an incomplete, and obscure law in itself, indicative of the fact that although the state has been considerably slow on cannabis law reforms, a positive change is afoot.
In a nutshell, all that is crucial for you to know is – Indiana has not yet launched a marijuana program, and you will not be able to apply for a medical marijuana card in the state. Indiana has some really strict rules. Gov. Eric Holcomb is hell-bent on not letting the usage of marijuana become legal in the state until and unless the federal law decides to legalize it for the greater good of the patients that are suffering from chronic conditions.