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Misled CBD crackdowns come to North Texas


Hemp flowers can easily be confused with marijuana, but don't have psychoactive effects. Source - Wikimedia Commons

A lack of clarity from regulators at the federal level surrounding CBD led to a series of overreaches in New York City, Ohio and Maine in January and February of this year.


While the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp as an agricultural product, mixed signals and a lack of clear regulatory guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration have complicated matters.


Statements from FDA Head Scott Gottlieb assured that CBD’s use in food and drink products was where the problems started, but Gottlieb’s announcement that he is soon resigning from the FDA coincided with a planned March meeting to give further information.


Now, misbegotten crackdowns of an entirely different sort have come to North Texas.


According to NBC-Dallas Fort Worth, confused law enforcement agents initiated raids late last week of CBD stores where they thought they were seizing marijuana. [1]


What they actually took from shocked employees and business owners were leaves of hemp flowers, which resemble marijuana buds visually but which do not get the user high or contain the active ingredient of weed, THC.


The NBC affiliate reports that hundreds of pounds of CBD products were seized in two GM Tobacco stores, one in Duncanville and one in Lancaster. [1]


From NBC-DFW:


“‘This isn't a drug dealer. These aren't drug dealers. This isn't a drug house,’ the [store] owners' attorney, Daniel Sullivan” [1]


Losses on the CBD products taken by police in the Friday raids were as much as $60,000 worth of inventories, according to the co-owner Amy Wazwaz.


She told NBC-DFW that she would have let police test any of the products they were taking away from her and her husband’s stores, but they weren’t interested.


There have been no arrests or charges brought in response to the police action in Texas last Friday. [1]


Police did, however, leave inventory lists from their seizure of products, where they claimed the hemp flower leaves were “apparent marijuana products labeled (as) hemp flower.” [1]


Still, the business owners and their attorney are standing firm in the claim that there was no actual marijuana in their shops, and employees were shocked when police entered and began their raid.


“There is nothing in that shop that would get you high,” Sullivan told NBC-DFW. [1]


While these actions are relatively limited in scope and readers and reporters alike will need to wait as the details of the case are further revealed, it does have worrying aspects.


The strike on the tobacco shops came after undercover work where officers reported seeing hemp flowers and being convinced they were marijuana. [1]


The facts of this case are still unknown, but it is clear that those in the CBD industry should do their best to educate people more and more about the nature of hemp, its differences from marijuana, and its benefits to personal living.


Sources

[1] https://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/North-Texas-Stores-Raided-CBD-Products-Seized-507386561.html

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