CBS4 Investigates: Who’s monitoring and regulating CBD oil stores in Indiana?

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Six months after CBD oil was legalized in Indiana, Hoosiers appear to be cashing in across the state.

Several people have quit their desk jobs to open their own CBD oil shops.

"I used to install medical imaging equipment," said Frederick Erdmann, who opened CBD Revolution over the summer.

He's the first to open such a store in a family mall.

"We're here in Washington Square Mall," he said, looking around. "This used to be a Kay Jewelers."

Across town, former Rossville High School principal Michael Gick opened CBD Solutions in Plainfield.

"It was time for me to step out," he said.

CBD oil, which is extracted from hemp but has such low levels of THC that it does not get you high, is becoming a new medical phenomenon. People use it for all sorts of reasons, swearing it helps those with epilepsy, attention deficit disorder--even cancer.

"I was skeptical," admitted Rhonda Ressler.

Ressler was struggling with her 12-year old son, who was diagnosed with six disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. Doctors kept diagnosing him with new issues and prescribing him more and more medications.

"Nothing was working," she said. "He started to go downhill. I feel like in the whole picture, we started overmedicating him and medicating him for side effects of the medicine rather than everything else."

After he reportedly chased after his sister with a bat, Ressler took her son to a behavioral clinic. The clinic refused to keep him the full week and transferred him to a hospital. There, doctors decided to clear him of most of those medications.

Ressler looked for another alternative. Knowing her son's former principal had just gotten into the CBD oil industry, she asked him for help. They decided CBD oil gummies were worth a try.

"We just give him one gummy every morning," Ressler explained. "It's been night and day."

Ressler's son is now doing much better. She credits the success to CBD oil.

"I'm kind of relieved. I want people to know there are other options out there," she said.

CBS4 wanted to know how many CBD oil stores have opened since the product was legalized in May 2018, but we could not find any state or local agency in charge of regulating or monitoring those stores.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission released a statement, saying CBD oil retailers do not need to have a specific license. Unless a consumer files a complaint about a place or product, law enforcement has no reason to go inside and check the items to make sure they are compliant with state law.

Many Hoosiers don't even know what the law entails. CBD oil products sold and bought in Indiana must contain .3 percent THC or less. Each package must also have a QR code so the consumer can scan it and find out manufacturer information and batch details.

Store owners like Erdmann and Gick said the code helps hold store owners accountable. They also said it's a case of “buyer beware” because consumers have to take it upon themselves to make sure they're getting what the product promises.

"That code is what makes it legal," Gick said. "Because if there's no testing, it could be 500 milligrams of corn syrup."

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