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Indiana and Cannabis. What You Should Know

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Many Indiana residents may find themselves wondering about the legality of medical marijuana in the state. For anyone who feels they may qualify for a medical marijuana card in Indiana, it’s important to be informed of the qualifications, process, and restrictions put in place for medical cannabis use in the state.

Understanding the rules and marijuana laws in place is easiest when they’re all together so we have put together a complete guide on medical marijuana in Indiana.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Indiana?

Currently, medical marijuana is not legal in Indiana for any reason. Most recently, 13 cannabis-related bills have been introduced in 2022 alone, covering topics from the medical use of cannabis to the decriminalization of marijuana possession. However, none of these bills have been successfully signed into law, leaving Indiana as one of only 13 states that don’t allow for the medical use of cannabis.

Has Indiana Made Marijuana Legal for Recreational Use?

Indiana has also made no effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use or to decriminalize it in any way. Under the current law of the state, being found with any amount of marijuana can lead to up to a year in jail as well as a fine of up to $5,000, meaning Indiana takes its stance on marijuana very seriously.

However, many of Indiana’s neighbors have legalized marijuana in one form or another, including MichiganIllinois, and Ohio. With pressure mounting from many sides of the state, it seems more likely that Indiana will eventually change their stance and legalize medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Card in Indiana

If Indiana moves to legalize medical marijuana in the coming years, it’s very likely that those who wish to take part in the program will need to apply for a medical cannabis card. While we can’t know the specifics of what Indiana would require, we can look at other states who have legalized medical cannabis to get an idea of what the medical card process would look like.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana?

First, applicants will likely need to be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by an Indiana licensed physician. The qualifying conditions vary from state to state, so there’s no definite way of knowing what they would be in Indiana. However, if medical cannabis becomes legal, the list would be available for citizens to review.

While the qualifying conditions tend to vary based on location, there are a few conditions that seem to make the list in almost every state, meaning those in Indiana can expect to see them make their list when medical marijuana is legalized. Some of those conditions include:

Of course, Indiana has the ability to include all of these, some of them, or other conditions on its list of qualifying conditions when they make medical marijuana legal. In addition, all medical card hopefuls would have to have written proof from a doctor who is eligible to make a recommendation for medical marijuana.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

After receiving written confirmation of a qualifying diagnosis, the patient would then need to fill out an application for a medical card. Most of these applications have a variety of supplementing forms that will need to be turned in with it, such as proof of Indiana residency and a written doctor’s note. In addition, applicants would need to expect to pay a fee when submitting their applications. These fees are typically $100 or less.

If approved for a medical marijuana card, cardholders would also need to expect to have to renew their license. The time on renewals can vary, though many have about one year of validity before needing renewed. Likely, the renewal process would look similar to the application process, including an annual meeting with your doctor to confirm continued eligibility and paying a renewal fee.

Indiana Marijuana Laws

Currently, marijuana of all forms is considered illegal in Indiana. The only product somewhat related to cannabis that is legal is any CBD product that has less than 0.3% THC. These products are legal to own, use, and sell in Indiana.

Possession laws in Indiana carry a variety of consequences, from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the amount and number of previous drug offenses. First-time possession charges are classified as misdemeanors and carry with them jail time of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000.

If you have previous drug offenses, the amount you’re found carrying matters. Less than 30 grams is a misdemeanor charge, carrying up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000. If found with 30 grams or more, previous offenders will be charged with a felony and face anywhere from six months to two and a half years of jail time as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

If Indiana legalizes medical cannabis, there will likely be laws set in place determining the amount of marijuana a medical patient can carry at one time and purchase during a specific period. Changing the laws of possession for the general public would require either decriminalizing cannabis or making it fully legal for recreational use. Only time will tell if either of these will happen for Indiana.

Can the Doctor Prescribe Medical Marijuana in Indiana?

While doctors are currently unable to prescribe medical cannabis in Indiana, they would be the ones who would do so if Indiana chooses to legalize its usage. Many states require their doctors to go through a qualification course to allow them to prescribe or recommend the medical use of marijuana. Due to the current strictness of marijuana laws in the state, it’s likely that Indiana will have a set of requirements for their doctors if they choose to legalize cannabis.

Is It Legal to Grow Medical Marijuana in Indiana?

It is still illegal to grow marijuana in the state of Indiana for any reason, including medical use. If a person is found growing marijuana in Indiana, they can face a wide variety of criminal charges based on the severity of the crime.

If the plants come up to less than 30 grams of marijuana, the charge will be classified as a misdemeanor, carrying with it up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Cultivating more than that will lead to being charged with a felony that comes with a fine of up to $10,000. However, the amount of jail time is dependent on the specific amount. Cultivating between 30 grams and ten pounds of marijuana will lead to a sentence between six months and two and a half years. Growing more than ten pounds will come with a jail sentence between one and six years.

If Indiana legalizes marijuana for medical purposes, it’s unclear whether that legalization will also mean it will be legal to grow marijuana. The state will likely designate cultivators who will grow and process the state’s supply of cannabis, though. When it comes to person plants, there’s no one way that other states have handled the rules. Some states allow medical patients to grow plants while others don’t. Still others only allowed personal growing of plants based once recreational marijuana was legalized.

There’s no way to know what the future of marijuana growing looks like in Indiana, but it’s important for the state’s citizens to be informed of all possibilities as marijuana bills continue to make appearances in lawmaking sessions.

Indiana Marijuana Dispensaries

Like all the other elements of marijuana, operating a marijuana dispensary of any type is illegal in Indiana. In fact, selling marijuana is illegal and comes with the same penalties that are listed for cultivating marijuana in the state. However, selling any amount of cannabis to a minor is an automatic felony that brings with it one to six years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

However, many northern Indiana residents may see a surplus of billboards that advertise marijuana dispensaries. The only problem? These dispensaries are located in Michigan. Michigan has legalized marijuana for recreational use, so they have moved some of their advertising across the border to Indiana. While Indiana doesn’t allow for any marijuana use, the billboards are still entirely legal and may be enticing Indiana citizens to go to Michigan to seek marijuana products.

If Indiana moves to legalize medical dispensaries, the state will designate a department to handle all licensing of cannabis dispensaries. We can’t know the specifics of what a dispensary application will entail, but it’s safe to say there will be a thorough process for determining who can open a medical marijuana dispensary when the time comes.

Takeaway

Indiana is one of the very few states left that hasn’t legalized cannabis for medical usage. Currently, the possession or use of any marijuana products is illegal in the state and will lead to jail time as well as hefty fines. However, the public hasn’t stopped trying to fight for their right to medical marijuana, and that’s evident in the high number of bills that are reviewed every law-making session.

While waiting for Indiana to legalize marijuana, the citizens in the state can prepare for the legalization by looking into how other states handle medical card qualifications and other factors of medical cannabis legalization. This preparation will allow hopeful citizens to be well-informed and ready to apply for their medical cards when Indiana eventually decides to legalize marijuana for its citizens.

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