The Kansas City Star reports on two retailers being sued for selling CBD oil.
Two Kansas City retailers were sued by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, and charged for illegally selling CBD oil made from hemp. Koster claims the product should only be available in licensed care centers.
The Attorney General warns
The Missouri Attorney Generals’ office is attempting to stop more or less 30 unlicensed stores across the state from selling cannabidiol, despite the fact that CBD oil can’t make people high. Koster’s office declared that most stores that received warning letters from the attorney general took heed except for four, the two in Kansas City included.
Two companies in Missouri received licenses in 2015 to grow hemp, and extract CBD oil to distribute. This came after legislators acted on proof that CBD oil effectively controls intractable epilepsy. CBD oil can only be made available to patients who can produce a signed statement from a neurologist to confirm diagnosis, and a registration card from the state.
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The two outlets in Kansas City sold CBD hemp oil although they were not licensed to do so. Two more outlets in the state are currently in court with similar charges for selling hemp oil illegally.
Shahid Hassan, owner of one of the stores, said he responded to the letter from Koster’s office by not selling the oil for more than two months. Hassen denied a statement by a state investigator that claims his shop confirmed it was still selling CBD oil. The other owners of outlets facing charges declined to comment or could not be reached.
The court seeks an injunction against sales at the outlets, compensation to customers and payment of a penalty, which was not specified.
CBD vs. THC
There have been huge controversial issues around the use of CBD oil, as it is produced from hemp, a cannabis strain. Cannabis, by definition, is seen to contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound, which makes one high. Missouri’s legal regulations only allow products to contain a very small amount of THC, and even then, the CBD oil may only be provided by certain care centers.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit North American hemp trade association, takes the stand that legal hemp products containing CBD have been sold long before cannabidiol formulations were submitted as ‘a new drug’ to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Therefore CBD products are not subject to laws that prevent the use of CBD as a supplement awaiting ‘new drug’ approval from the FDA. None of the companies that received warning letters are members of HIA, but the HIA urges CBD manufacturers to make sure product labels and marketing are free of any medical claims.
Executive Director of HIA, Eric Steenstra, says there is great potential for the CBD market in the US, but the industry must term cannabidiol products as being dietary supplements similar to multi-vitamins or herbal products.
CBD oil – not a drug, a supplement
FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs are compounds which are patented and developed by pharmaceutical companies; these compounds go through meticulous clinical trials before people can use them and then only if they are prescribed. Cannabidiol is botanical by nature, extracted from the flowers of a plant.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 explicitly defines ‘supplements’ as extracts of a botanical. Any attempt by the FDA or anyone else to prevent lawful manufacturing and selling of CBD products becomes unfair bias if CBD is seen as a supplement.
CBD oil without prescription
Usually medicines are prescribed for a specific ailment. Any prescription medicine comes with a clause stating dangers of overdose, incorrect use or side effects. There is no danger of overdose, side effects or incorrect dosage in CBD oil with trace levels of THC. So why then must it be prescribed? Tell us whether you think CBD oil should be treated as a drug or as a supplement. We will be happy to hear your comments.