CBD seizure was poison apple, suit against Disney World claims

CBD seizure was poison apple, suit against Disney World claims

Last year, the Nothing But Hemp blog reported on the confiscation of a grandmother’s CBD oil at Disney World in Orlando.

Hester Berkhalter, a 69-year-old from North Carolina, was outraged by the Disney World security staff’s decision to turn her over to authorities in April 2019 and send her home from the park after finding CBD products in her purse.

Berkhalter claimed at the time her trip was the result of years of planning and saving with her family, and the company still needs to answer for its illegal actins, according to the new suit.

“Defendants Disney and uniformed local law enforcement officials acting at its direction and under its authority as a Florida landowner … arrested and detained, processed as a narcotics felon and strip-searched a harmless, entirely blameless American great-grandmother, whose only ‘crime’ was her desire to lessen crippling osteoarthritic pain with a doctor-recommended hemp-based oil,” the July 29 complaint says, according to CNN and the Mercury News.

“While giving her family, including a disabled adult daughter and two adopted pre-teen children, an enjoyable vacation at the ‘Disney World’s entertainment complex near Orlando.”

CBD is fully legal to own for personal use, and was legalized at the federal level in December 2018. The beginning of 2019 shed light on police and security forces’ complete unpreparedness in enforcing marijuana prohibition alongside the newly-legal CBD.

Since so many police and security forces couldn’t differentiate between illegal marijuana and CBD that contains lower levels of the active ingredient THC, many arrests and cases of mistaken identity like Berkhalter’s occurred.

According to the Morning Call, famous attorney Ben Crump is representing Ms. Berkhalter in the action against Disney and the Orlando County Sheriff’s Department.

Crump also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and now George Floyd.

“It is entirely outrageous that Disney World would discriminate against people who have medical conditions that don’t respond to common pain relievers,” Crump said at a virtual press conference Wednesday, according to the Morning Call.

The suit seeks $12 million in restitution from the mega-corporation, which is famous for stringent security measures at its Orlando and Anaheim theme parks.


[1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2020/08/06/north-carolina-woman-sues-disney-world-sheriffs-office-over-cbd-arrest/3309594001/

[2] https://www.mcall.com/marijuana/os-ne-grandmother-lawsuit-disney-cbd-arrest-20200807-gxn6ozd3gnadrghr3p2cik6zui-story.html

[3] https://www.foxnews.com/travel/great-grandmother-sues-disney-cbd-oil-arrest

[4] https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/06/grandmother-sues-after-she-was-arrested-at-disney-with-cbd-oil-in-her-purse/