An unexpected development has emerged in the relationship between police and government officials as CBD and industrial hemp has grown more popular.
While police enforcement against hemp growers and cannabis businesses has spurred controversy and federal regulatory bodies have been critical of cannabis health claims, recent developments show individual police and government officials don’t always feel the same apprehensions toward the young industry.
Police across the country spent early 2019 raiding fledgling CBD companies because they either misunderstood the new federal rules that made the substance legal or couldn’t tell the difference between legal CBD and hemp flower and illicit marijuana.
Testing is another area where troubles can arise. CBD typically contains less than 0.3% THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) for full-spectrum hemp products, but since this is greater than 0% police lab tests can come up with false positives that the products are illegal.
These seizures have been accompanied by confusion at regulatory agencies like the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, where warnings against overstating CBD’s health benefits have had cooling effects on the industry.
Still, some individual police officers and regulators haven’t toed the line.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, who served under George W. Bush, recently joined the board of Kadenwood, a CBD manufacturer and retailer. 
“I received many calls from CBD companies to be an advisor or join a board. Kadenwood was the only group willing to adhere to my requirements in this fragmented market, largely driven by anecdotes and little science,” Dr. Carmona told Benzinga. 
According to reporting from ABC News affiliate KOAT 7 in Albuquerque, some members of the local police department have found themselves in hot water over their own use of CBD products. 
“You'll have a police officer go to their doctor and their doctor will tell them, ‘You should try CBD. You should try this as an ailment to your back pain or to the surgery you had two years ago,’” Shaun Willoughby of the Albuquerque Police Union told KOAT 7. 
KOAT 7 reports that often the officers’ confusion arises from their failure to distinguish between isolate CBD products that contain 0 % THC and full-spectrum and other products that contain trace amounts of the THC compounds that could result in failed drug tests and firings. 
“There is no communication from government to their city employees, no matter who they work for, to tell them this could get you in trouble, in fact, it could get you fired,” Willoughby said.