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Indiana Senate

The Senate chamber in the Indiana Statehouse

Doug Ross, The Times

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate has joined the House in taking steps to explicitly legalize cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, for all Hoosiers to use.

Senate Bill 52, which cleared the Republican-controlled chamber 35-13 Monday, authorizes the manufacture, sale and use of the cannabis-derived product in Indiana, so long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC — the marijuana ingredient that produces a "high."

Similar legislation was unanimously approved last week by the Republican-controlled House.

Both measures identify CBD oil as an industrial hemp product to skirt federal controlled substance prohibitions.

That still wasn't good enough for several senators opposed to the measure who insisted, regardless of what the state Legislature does, that CBD oil remains illegal under federal law because it is related to marijuana.

But state Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, the sponsor, pointed out that no one in Indiana has been arrested for using CBD oil in the past year after the General Assembly legalized the product for Hoosiers with treatment-resistant epilepsy who registered with the state.

"My hope with this bill is that more Hoosiers will be able to use this product to treat their ailments," Young said. "Since we are limiting how much THC can be in the product, there is no risk for people to use this to get high."

The Senate now must either take up the House proposal, or the House needs to act on the Senate version, to advance the legislation to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for his signature or veto.

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.