Mall store cited by Excise Police; Marijuana oil-derived products found in Nirvana, owners home

A local retailer in the FairOaks Mall has been cited administratively by Indiana State Excise Police for selling marijuana oil-derived products.

Excise officers raided Nirvana at 12:20 p.m. Monday. They seized products including liquids and gummy bears containing the marijuana oil, said Corp. Heather L. Lynch, excise police public information officer.

The business, owned by Tulsidas G. Narsinghani, was cited on preliminary charges of violating its state tobacco license certificate by being a public nuisance, possession of marijuana and possession of a counterfeit controlled substance, Lynch said. The charges have been forwarded to the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s prosecutor for review, she said.

Nirvana was open on Wednesday and Narsinghani said he could not comment about the search warrants on the advice of his attorney.

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Excise officers also served a search warrant at 4:40 p.m. Monday at Narsinghani’s home at 1023 Lapwing Drive, where they seized several marijuana oil-derived products including liquid, capsules and gummy bears, Lynch said. Officers also seized documents, drug paraphernalia, a small amount of suspected marijuana and more than $20,000 in currency, she said.

The state excise office cited Nirvana on May 13 on preliminary administrative charges of possession of an unauthorized E-liquid, public nuisance, Lynch said. E-liquid is used in vaping materials and is regulated by the state.

The citation also refers to the business having throwing stars and for failing to display a tobacco certificate, she said. Throwing stars are sharpened, hand-held blades made from needles, nails and knives, as well as coins, washers and other flat plates of metal, marketed as a ninja fighting tool.

No arrests were made as a result of the search warrants, although Lynch said a report is being submitted to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office for review regarding what was found in Narsinghani’s home.

Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said the presence of illegal substances that can be ingested in many ways is becoming more common in Indiana. Excise officers will investigate all complaints about alcohol and other products that potentially can have devastating consequences to the health and well-being of residents, he said.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1148 into law in May, which establishes a low-THC program for patients with severe seizure disorders. THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical compound in cannabis, also known as marijuana.

The law allows patients with a doctor’s certification to access cannabis oils containing less than 0.3 percent THC, Lynch said. However, the law does not allow state tobacco certificate holders to possess or sell marijuana oil-derived products, she said.

Marijuana oil-derived products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says marijuana or marijuana-derived products are being used for a number of medical conditions including, for example, AIDS treatment, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and cancer and chemotherapy-induced nausea.

On its website, the agency says it has not approved a marketing application for a drug product containing or derived from botanical marijuana and has not found any such product to be safe and effective for any medical treatment.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Read the bill

To read Indiana House Bill 1148, which creates a low-THC program for Indiana patients with severe seizure disorders, visit:

https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1148

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.