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Indiana police wrongly cite retailers for cannabis extract after moratorium

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Excise Police have continued citing retailers selling a cannabis extract after saying they’d stop confiscating the product.

The state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission announced the moratorium on cannabidiol confiscations Aug. 12, The Indianapolis Star reported . Records show that excise police have cited at least two stores for potential violations for selling the product.

Lawmakers passed legislation in April allowing certain patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy to use cannabidiol if it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis.

Excise police began cracking down on the product in May, believing the new law made the possession of cannabidiol for other purposes a crime. Authorities seized more than 3,000 products from about 60 stores across the state.

Some lawmakers and the Indiana State Police say the substance was already legal under a 2014 law that removed industrial hemp products from the state’s controlled substance statute. State officials said confiscations would stop until the matter was examined legally.

The citations were issued in error and have been withdrawn, said Heather Lynch, an agency spokeswoman.

But store owners are hesitant to return cannabidiol products to their shelves.

“We definitely feel like at any time the rug could be pulled back from under us,” said Jeff Shelton, owner of Happy Daze Smoke Shop. “Until they come out and give a definitive answer, we’re definitely going to feel on edge and worried they could come in and take the products.”

Brandy Barrett’s 10-year-old son uses cannabidiol to treat his severe epilepsy. She said she’s concerned about the confusion over the state law.

“Obviously this goes to show there is a real issue going on in the state,” Barrett said.