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Senate Joins House in Endorsing Cannabis Oil Legalization

But Senate bill includes labeling requirement House lacks; chambers have five weeks to reach agreement

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Senate has voted to fully legalize cannabis oil.

The House voted last month to legalize CBD oil, but the Senate version includes a labeling requirement to confirm the oil has only tiny amounts of the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. Those findings would have to be included in a QR code on the label.

Indianapolis Senator Mike Young says it's not clear whether CBD oil has the benefits supporters say it does, but it is clear it doesn't get you high and doesn't have dangerous side effects. Syracuse Senator Blake Doriot says he knows of legislators who use the oil for pain.

Both the House and Senate bills say there's no reason to restrict CBD oil to epilepsy patients, as a law passed last year did. Even that narrow exemption proved meaningless after Attorney General Curtis Hill pointed out in an advisory opinion that legislators failed to legalize selling the oil -- only possessing it. Both bills solve that problem by clearing up three conflicting definitions of hemp and cannabis in Indiana law. The bills instead rely on federal definitions included in the 2014 farm bill to draw a distinction between cannabidiol and marijuana.

The Senate approved the bill 35-13. Opponents warn even tracking the federal bill isn't enough to avoid federal drug definitions. And they question whether the oil should be used when the FDA hasn't certified it as beneficial or recommended dosages.

The House and Senate have five weeks to reach agreement on the bill.

(Photo: bdspn/Thinkstock)


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