How could this possibly happen? Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Alaska. But shops selling CBD oil got raided by police. CBD is not even psychoactive, and should be the least of any state’s issues. What’s strangest of all, is that the CBD raids happened in a state where THC is legal. But perhaps we should look at the facts before we panic.
CannabisNow investigated a statement released by Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office on CBD products seized from several stores. The control office claims that CBD is not included in the current scope of state law.
Legal uncertainties and dissenting voices
Is CBD marijuana, or isn’t it? Alaska regulators are still trying to make up their minds according to a report in The Alaska Journal of Commerce. According to a spokesperson from the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), the matter is still under debate.
If AMCO decides that CBD is a marijuana product, it seems that the main problem may be that the imported CBD oil seized in raids wasn’t packaged, tested, and tracked in accordance with Alaska’s marijuana laws.
But there are many, including the national hemp producers organization, who would argue that CBD oil comes from hemp and should, therefore, be distinguished from marijuana. In fact, the organization has repeatedly stated that according to the agricultural laws allowing hemp to be grown in the United States, all hemp products are legal in all states, whether they have marijuana laws or not.
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CBD oil isn’t marijuana, but it comes from cannabis
Look at the plant, and yes, it’s cannabis sure enough. Look at what it does and how it is used, and it’s not marijuana. Legislators in Alaska seem to be struggling with the fundamental differences between marijuana and hemp. They certainly won’t be the first to do so.
Which definitions should they take into account? Botanically, both marijuana and hemp are really cannabis. Linguistically, there’s some confusion, but most people see marijuana as being a herb containing THC which makes people high. A good CBD oil contains a tiny amount of THC and doesn’t make you high. The plant it comes from would ordinarily be called hemp.
Confused? So are the lawmakers. One could almost sympathize with them if it weren’t for the fact that treating a non-psychoactive plant extract as if it were a drug seems somewhat over the top! However, we have to sympathize with Alaska’s desire for accountability in tracing, tracking and package information. Without these controls, people could sell just about anything as CBD oil, and that would be bad for consumers.
A look into the crystal ball: what does the future hold?
It seems likely that after discussions, AMCO will allow the sale of CBD oil again. It would be a good thing if the organization called for quality control measures, and we hope that it will.
We also hope that it will distinguish between CBD and THC, and we can blame part of the muddle on the DEA for calling CBD oil a “marijuana extract.” It seems likely that AMCO will follow suit. We may not agree with that terminology, but it has already been decided, so we’ll just have to think things through the way Alaska is now doing.