Indiana Bill Targets All Forms of THC, Including Smoking Products | News


INDIANAPOLIS — A version of THC has been legal in Indiana since 2018, but a new bill aims to change that.

Senate Bill 209, drafted by Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, and Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, would change references in Indiana statutes to “delta-9 THC” to simply ” THC”.

Delta-8, derived from hemp, was federally legalized under the Farm Bill of 2018. SB 209 would change definitions in Indiana drug programs of “delta-9 THC”, or the form of THC derived from cannabis, just “THC”. This would also wrap the delta-8. So, in essence, SB 209 seeks to ban all forms of THC, closing the loophole that allowed smokers to sell products containing delta-8 THC.

Since legalization, farmers and retail stores have taken advantage of the products, and Hoosiers was able to easily get their hands on a legalized form of THC.

Jason Straw, president of the Indiana branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said the restriction on delta-8 doesn’t just affect Hoosiers who use the substance recreationally. . It would also harm those who depend on it. According to Straw, Hoosiers with opioid addiction, Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder have found delta-8 THC to be an effective alternative to delta-9 medical marijuana.

“Delta-8 is a harm reduction tool for opioid addicts and for these patients [with PTSD and chronic illnesses]”Paille said.

Rather than get rid of THC use among these groups, Straw said they would look for it elsewhere.

“When Indiana makes a product like delta-8 illegal, they either have to go out of state – taking their tax money with them – to get what they need, or buy cannabis illegally in the street, thereby jeopardizing the quality of the product,” says Paille.

The bill would have a significant financial impact on hemp retailers and farmers. Straw said a single retailer he spoke to would lose over $1 million. The retailer has three stores.

Straw estimates that about 40% of Republicans in the Legislature support legalizing marijuana, while about 60% do not. His conversations with lawmakers showed that they were taught that marijuana was bad and they were changing their minds one by one.

“That’s what’s really holding us back,” Straw said.

Nineteen states have already regulated or restricted delta-8, including neighboring states of Michigan and Kentucky.

Taylor Wooten is a reporter for, a news site run by Franklin College journalism students.

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