Indiana Lawmakers to Start Exploring Marijuana Decriminalization and Delta-8 THC Regulations

Indiana lawmakers this summer will discuss potential regulations for THC products, as well as possible decriminalization of marijuana. We will have to wait to see if those deliberations will result in forward momentum or potential consequences.

According to the agenda authorized by legislative leaders, the public health summer study committee will focus on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, and other THC products regarding potential health benefits, potential decriminalization, and other potential consequences.

While lawmakers state total marijuana decriminalization is on the table for debate, they will also explore restrictions around the sale of products like Delta 8, including age requirements for purchasing.

“It’s important to inform ourselves on Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC,” stated Republican State Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray. “I think a lot of members of the General Assembly aren’t overly familiar with what those products are.”

Indiana and Delta 8 THC

A separate bill introduced this year sought to ban Delta 8 but was rejected in the final days of session. Currently, hemp-derived Delta 8 is legal to purchase and produce in Indiana, if it contains no more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC. Hemp-derived CBD and Delta 10 THC are also legal in Indiana. However, hemp flower and Delta 8 flower are not legal under state law. The same goes for medical and recreational marijuana, which is classified in Indiana code as a controlled substance.

“Realistically, we’re starting the clock for the next two to three years on a decriminalization bill or a medicinal cannabis bill,” he said. “But I think that this is a great beginning.”

Upcoming Legislative Session

State lawmakers meet during the summer and fall months to discuss various top policy issues, gather public input and recommend legislation for the upcoming legislative session. The topics were selected by the Legislative Council, composed of eight members of the Indiana Senate and eight members of the Indiana House of Representatives. The chamber leaders alternate as chair each year.

Bray added he’s not sure what, if any, legislation will come from the committee but believes it’s an important issue to study.

“We in Indiana have been slower to go that direction than states that are surrounding us, as you all know, but we don’t live in a vacuum,” he stated. “We have to figure out where we are and if this is going to be an important conversation to have this summer for where Indiana moves.”

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