Griffen Thorne
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indiana hemp cbd cannabis

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and by providing a detailed framework for the cultivation of hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill gives the US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) regulatory authority over hemp cultivation at the federal level. In turn, states have the option to maintain primary regulatory authority over the crop cultivated within their borders by submitting a plan to the USDA.

This federal and state interplay has resulted in many legislative and regulatory changes at the state level. Indeed, most states have introduced (and adopted) bills that would authorize the commercial production of hemp within their borders. A smaller but growing number of states also regulate the sale of products derived from hemp.

In light of these legislative changes, we are presenting a 50-state series analyzing how each jurisdiction treats hemp-derived cannabidiol (“Hemp CBD”). Each Sunday, we summarize a new state in alphabetical order. Today, we turn to Indiana.

The Office of Indiana State Chemist (“OISC”) regulates hemp cultivation activities. Currently, the OISC is allowing applications for hemp researchers but expects to allow commercial cultivation applications in 2020 (absent a change in applicable laws or regulations) in light of the 2018 Farm Bill’s allowance of hemp production programs and a series of laws and regulations in Indiana. Pursuant to these OISC FAQs, the final rules for the 2020 application process are still being worked out, and the state hopes that the first round of commercial hemp crops will be planted next year. The FAQs also state that hemp seeds can be imported from other states and that the license types that will eventually be issued will be for Growers, Handlers, and Researchers.

Perhaps surprisingly, Indiana has some of the most robust Hemp CBD requirements of any U.S. state. Indiana’s legislature passed SB-52, allowing the sales of FDA-approved Hemp CBD products, or “low THC hemp extract” that complies with Indiana law effective in 2018. These requirements are broad and require independent lab testing with a passing certificate of analysis, and require products to have comprehensive labels with scannable QR codes linking to even more comprehensive information.

SB-52 doesn’t list each and every kind of Hemp CBD product that may be sold, but subsequent legislation has clarified the state’s position on certain products. Earlier this year, the state passed SB-516, which among other things, makes clear that smokable hemp isn’t a permitted product in Indiana. “Smokable hemp” is defined broadly and arguably includes both flower products and vape products.

Stay tuned to the Canna Law Blog for developments on hemp and Hemp CBD in Indiana. For previous coverage in this series, check out the links below.

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The Canna Law Blog™ is a forum for discussion about the practical aspects of cannabis law and how it impacts those involved in this growing industry. We will provide insight into how canna businesspeople can use the law to their advantage…

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