When the legislative session began, Gettelfinger, Dr. Matt Andry of Andry Medical Services and Dr. Erich Weidenbener of the Bloomington Bone and Joint Clinic made several trips to Indianapolis to educate legislators on the medical issue.
“The law that we have now is going to make people feel confident taking CBD for their health again,” Andry said, adding that physicians around the state are feeling more confident recommending it to their patients. “I’m already seeing that change. Conservatively, I’d say 10 to 20 new physicians each month, across all specialties, are either recommending or actually providing CBD to their patients.”
Gettelfinger had already been treating patients with CBD oil because Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb had signed a bill into law last April allowing its medical use. That law allowed the use of CBD oil in the treatment of children with epilepsy if it contained at least 5 percent CBD and less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD was permitted for other uses as long as the solution was less than 5 percent.
Both Gettelfinger and Andry said they’ve seen a 70 to 80 percent success rate, in which patients report at least some benefit to taking CBD. Andry also said he had more than a few patients quit using CBD after Hill’s decision because of the question regarding its legality. That was very frustrating, he said, because he knew they were being deprived of something that could help them.
Andry said he delivered an hourlong lecture to legislators on the benefits of CBD, answered questions and addressed many misconceptions, including ones shared by the attorney general.
The text of the bill states “Before July 1, 2018, low THC hemp extract may be distributed in Indiana,” causing no disruption to access of CBD oil during these next few months. What does take effect July 1, when most state laws go into effect, are new labeling requirements of the CBD oil.
“I’m excited for my patients,” Gettelfinger said. “The fact of the matter is, (CBD) is working, and nothing good ever came without a fight.”
His reasoning is something special. He said CBD is a narcotic because it comes from the cannabis plant.
Webb: Hey Indiana, your neighbors have weed. Get some, too.
Attorney general: Don’t legalize marijuana
To recap: The Indiana State Police says CBD is legal. The attorney general says it’s illegal – unless you’re included on a registry that would you allow to buy it, even though you can’t buy it because the attorney general says it’s illegal.
This may be the most ridiculous thing Indiana has ever done. And there’s stiff competition for that crown.
Confusion over current law emerged almost immediately after Holcomb took action to create the CBD oil registry for epilepsy patients.
If state lawmakers want current law changed, they’ll have to pass new legislation next session.
“Simply put, cannabidiol is a schedule 1 controlled substance because marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance,” Hill said in his written advisory opinion. “Although it is a relatively new phenomenon, after thoroughly tracking the language of the Indiana law defining ‘marijuana’ it is evident that cannabidiol is now and historically has been derived from ‘a part of the plant genus cannabis.'”
“It was our intent to allow someone to acquire (CBD oil) in those limited circumstances, and they have to buy it from someone,” Long said.
Individual police departments and prosecutors can choose whether to charge anyone for possessing or selling CBD oil, Hill said.