How to Get a CBD License in Indiana & Start Your Business

Two professionals who have a CBD license in Indiana, standing next to an oversized CBD leaf.

CBD is growing increasingly popular throughout the United States, with CBD product sales predicted to reach around $16 billion by 2026.[1]Statista. “CBD retail in the United States – Statistics and Facts“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products legal throughout the country, paving the way for huge growth in the industry. However, not all states are welcoming getting a CBD license or starting a CBD businesses with open arms. Fortunately, Indiana is a popular destination for many entrepreneurs seeking a CBD-friendly market with minimal set-up costs.

Still, it’s important to stay on top of evolving CBD laws and regulations. For example, in 2018, the Indiana General Assembly changed laws about CBD labeling, requiring local retailers to place QR codes on product labels with information on the item’s batch number, ingredients, and more.[2]WTHR. “New labeling rules now in effect for all CBD oil sold in Indiana“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024. This caused many retailers to pull products off shelves until the new regulations could be met, as Indiana officials were threatening criminal and financial repercussions for non-complying businesses. So, while Indiana is a CBD-friendly state, staying on top of CBD retailer requirements is crucial if you plan on selling cannabidiol to local consumers.

This guide explores how to start a CBD business in Indiana, the requirements for obtaining a CBD license in the state, the laws and regulations for selling CBD there, and other related topics. Are you ready to open a new CBD business in Indiana? If so, read ahead!

How to Start a CBD Business in Indiana

There’s no need to overcomplicate the initial stages of starting a CBD business. As with any other business in Indiana, you’ll start by choosing a business structure. While it’s possible to sell CBD products as a sole proprietor or partnership, many businesses choose LLCs because they provide the owners’ basic liability protection. Once you select the business structure appropriate for your needs and risk appetite, it’s time to register your new company with Indiana authorities.

Start by heading to the Indiana Secretary of State’s INBIZ website and click the “Start a New Business” button on the homepage. Next, log into your Access Indiana account (if you don’t have one, you can register on this page) and begin the process of filing the paperwork for a new business. The filing cost is $90. This digital registration process takes the pain out of starting a new company. You can use the same website to file for your Indiana tax registration.

Once you register your new business and obtain your Indiana tax details, you can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This federal tax identification number makes it possible to employ staff and makes it easier for creditors and other businesses to identify your company. Once all this core business infrastructure is in place, you can apply for a business bank account to begin paying invoices, receiving customer payments, and more. Now it’s time to discover what your new business requires to sell CBD products in Indiana!

How to Get a CBD License in Indiana

Unlike many states, which have strict licensing requirements for CBD retailers, Indiana does not require retail businesses to have a license or permit to sell products. This makes Indiana one of the nation’s most friendly states for CBD enterprises. However, for Indiana-based businesses planning to sell CBD products to customers out-of-state, it’s essential to be aware of other states’ CBD regulations. You may need to apply for a CBD retail license in other states to ship products to customers in regions outside Indiana.

And while there’s no Indiana retail CBD license, businesses growing and handling hemp for CBD products must obtain licenses to operate legally. The Indiana hemp program is regulated by the Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC). To apply for a license, head to the hemp program application website and register for an account. Once you have a registered account for your business, you can log in and begin the application process. While these licenses previously cost nothing, you must now pay $750 per license ($1500 for both handler and grower licenses).

A document with a green checklist.

CBD License Application Requirements for Indiana

As discussed, there are no Indiana CBD license requirements for retailers, as there are no retail CBD licenses required to sell products to consumers. However, for hemp growers and handlers, the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) requires the following details:

  • Company name (and DBA name)
  • Company Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Name of primary business contact
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address
  • Physical address (if this varies from the mailing address)

Likewise, the applicant must provide details on “Key Participants” in the company. These individuals will require a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Identity History Summary Check.

Laws and Regulations for Selling CBD in Indiana

While CBD retailers don’t require a license to sell products to Indiana consumers, products must comply with state and federal laws. Firstly, all CBD products sold in Indiana must have a 0.3% THC concentration or less. Likewise, all CBD products must have a QR code featured on their label—this QR code must provide a link to the product’s certificate of analysis (COA).

However, while existing rules and regulations are quite straightforward for Indiana CBD business owners, laws are subject to change. Earlier in 2023, the Indiana AG wrote an opinion expressing that the Agriculture Improvement Act (AIA), which federally legalized CBD products, doesn’t “preempt state law in the regulation of hemp”.[3]WISHTV.COM. “Indiana AG says you can’t spell relief with CBD“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024. This could pave the way for state regulators to outlaw CBD products or adjust requirements for legal CBD sales.

How to Renew Your CBD License in Indiana

As there is no retail Indiana CBD license, your business has no requirement to renew any licenses to continue selling legal CBD products to local consumers. Again, if your business is involved in cross-border transactions, you may need to renew CBD licenses in other states to remain compliant.

For businesses growing or handling hemp to produce CBD products, you must renew your license on the OISC hemp program website. The process is similar to applying for a hemp grower or handler license for the first time.

Start Selling CBD in Indiana

With minimal red tape for setting up a new retail CBD business in Indiana, it’s time to choose a business structure, apply for an EIN, open a business bank account, and take care of the other administrative tasks for creating a new company. Before you know it, you’ll have access to a CBD-friendly market with more than 5.26 million residents aged 18 and over.[4]United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Indiana“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024.

Once you decide on how to sell your CBD products to your customers, you’ll need a payment processing partner to accept credit and debit card payments. This is where many CBD businesses run into trouble—traditional payment processing providers don’t work with cannabidiol businesses because of their varying legal status in different states. However, there are high-risk merchant account providers offering merchant accounts to CBD enterprises. Not only do these high-risk merchant service providers make it possible for CBD businesses to access merchant accounts, but they also offer dedicated support, higher chargeback thresholds, CBD-specific features, and more. If you want the most from your payment infrastructure, consider a high-risk merchant account for your CBD business!

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Indiana CBD License: FAQs

Yes. CBD products are legal in Indiana, as long as they follow local and federal guidelines for CBD concentration and labeling. For example, CBD products must have a 0.3% THC concentration or less.

How much does a CBD license cost in Indiana?

As there is no Indiana retail CBD license, there’s no cost associated with selling CBD products in a retail setting. However, for businesses growing and handling hemp for CBD products, there is a $750 application fee for either a license (or $1500 for both growing and handling licenses).

Can you sell CBD without a license in Indiana?

Yes. Your business does not require a CBD retail license to sell products in Indiana. This makes Indiana one of the nation’s regions with the least red tape for CBD businesses. Many other states require CBD retail licenses with expensive fees and lengthy applications.

How long is a CBD license valid in Indiana?

Fortunately, there aren’t Indiana CBD licenses for retailers, meaning your business doesn’t need to renew any licenses to sell CBD. For this reason, Indiana is one of the most CBD-friendly states in the country—there are minimal requirements to set up a CBD shop.

Article Sources

  1. Statista. “CBD retail in the United States – Statistics and Facts“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024.
  2. WTHR. “New labeling rules now in effect for all CBD oil sold in Indiana“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024.
  3. WISHTV.COM. “Indiana AG says you can’t spell relief with CBD“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024.
  4. United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Indiana“.Accessed on Feb 1, 2024.

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