In April 2017, the Indiana General Assembly passed and Gov. Eric Holcomb signed HB 1148, a bill establishing a very limited low-THC medical cannabis program in the state for patients suffering from treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Qualifying conditions: Only patients suffering from “treatment-resistant epilepsy” are eligible for enrollment in the program. That means patients must have Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, or another form of epilepsy where the patient has not responded to at least two other treatment options.

Certifying physicians: Physicians must be board certified in neurology in order to make recommendations for patient enrollment in the program.

Cannabidiol: Patients are only permitted to consume oil extracts composed of 0.3% THC or less and at least 5% CBD.

Caregivers: Parents and legal guardians of patients can enroll in the program as caregivers; caregivers must be at least 18 years old.

Residency: Patients must be residents of Indiana; this means patients visiting Indiana from another state may not participate in the state program.

Registry: The department of health will develop and maintain a registry for patients and caregivers. The department will develop a registration fee not greater than $50; renewal fees will not be greater than $25. The department will also develop rules creating a fee reduction or waiver for indigent patients. Registrations shall last for one year or less should the doctor request a shorter expiration date.

Legal protections: Patients and caregivers have a defense to prosecution — though no immunity from arrest — for activity covered by the program.

Access to cannabidiol: This law does not grant access to cannabidiol to patients. Therefore, MPP does not consider it a workable program.

Effective date: July 1, 2017.