Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill. Recent mass shootings spurred Congress to try to improve the background check system used during gun purchases, but experts say the system is so fractured that federal legislation being considered in Washington D.C. will do little to help keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file)

Indiana state lawmakers use arcane rule to turn CBD legalization legislation into a gun bill

Legislation that would have legalized CBD in Indiana now is a bill to relax gun restrictions.

Indiana state lawmakers on Monday enacted a “strip and replace” procedure on House Bill 1214, replacing provisions to regulate the sale of low-THC, cannabidiol-rich extracts derived from hemp with language instead related to handgun regulations, Indiana media outlets reported Monday.

As it stands now, House Bill 1214 would eliminate the fees associated with handgun permits and allow those licenses to extend to lifelong ownership, RTV6 reported. The legislation would allow permitted owners to carry their guns in churches, unless that facility has a ban in place, according to the report.

The negotiations behind Monday’s actions were first reported last week by WTHR-TV reporter Bob Segall:

When lawmakers meet Monday morning to discuss HB 1214 in joint conference committee, the bill will no longer have any mention of CBD oil. By 10:00 am Monday, it will become a much different bill — a bill about guns. Yes, you read that correctly. Guns. Erase all talk of easing pain with CBD oil. Replace it — lock, stock and barrel — with a bill to provide more ease and convenience for Indiana gun owners.

What’s about to happen next is a part of the legislative process few people know about.

“It’s not always a process,” said (Rep. Bill) Friend, who is retiring from the General Assembly later this year after representing Miami County for the past quarter century. “We’re making sausage. It’s a sausage factory, and it’s not always pretty.”

Segall, in his deep dive on the vehicle bill process, was quick to note that CBD legislation is not dead.

Senate Bill 52, the companion bill to H.B. 1214, retains the CBD regulations language and could come to a vote this week, a spokesman for bill co-sponsor Sen. R. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, confirmed Monday afternoon to The Cannabist.

Young was not immediately available for comment.

Senate Bill 52 appears to be on the track for passage; however, additional legislation to allow for Indiana-based cannabis extraction facilities seems less certain, IndyStar has reported.

As the legislation session’s closure on Wednesday draws nearer, sales of hemp-based CBD extract have been swift at Adele’s Naturally, an Evansville, Ind., health foods store, said Jordan Fink, the store’s manager.

“Through all of the grapevines that I have, we’re fairly optimistic that (Senate Bill) 52, even as early as today, could get passed,” Fink said Monday afternoon in an interview with The Cannabist.

Much like other CBD retailers in Indiana, Adele’s has seen a rush of business — and local media attention — after the state’s attorney general declared the products illegal. Lawmakers have sought clarification, introducing upward of 10 bills in this session.

“I feel certain that as soon as (Senate Bill 52) does get passed, we’re gonna see a huge surge of people,” Fink said.

Read WTHR-TV’s full reporting here.