AMES, Iowa — An increase in complaints to Ames police over unlawful sales of CBD oil sparked an investigation by the county attorney.
The investigation is over, and the Story County Attorney is asking businesses to stop selling it and is calling on all CBD oil in the county to be destroyed.
“The cows have been let out of the barn. There is CBD being sold all over the state. There are thousands of thousands of people who use it,” said Kim McDermott, wellness manager at Wheatsfield Co-op.
McDermott removed all CBD products from the sales floor.
“Disappointed and we are going to have a lot of disappointed customers as well,” McDermott said. “It is helping them with things [such as] anxiety, sleep issues, pain. It works almost like an ibuprofen.”
But that doesn’t make it legal.
On Monday, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds issued a public service announcement targeting businesses like Wheatsfield.
“To make sure that our residents are aware that CBD oil is unlawful by Iowa Code and should not be sold,” Reynolds said.
Iowa law allows a patient with a doctor’s note to buy CBD oil from five state-run dispensaries.
“Story County, Iowa, does not have a dispensary that has been designated by the Iowa Department of Public Health,” Reynolds said.
McDermott says Iowa’s CBD law is confusing.
“Ours has almost no THC, so that’s an important distinction. Also, with the federal farm bill, it legalized the production of industrial and agricultural hemp,” McDermott said.
Story County says it does not matter what the THC level is, CBD oil is illegal.
“Regardless of the level of THC in the CBD, its possession and sale is not authorized under Iowa law.” Reynolds said. “It’s confusing. The farm bill is federal legislation, and it’s separate from Iowa law and CBD oil.”
The Webster County Attorney has also issued a similar announcement warning patients and businesses that CBD remains illegal in most cases under Iowa law.
Two medical marijuana bills are being debated at the Iowa State Capitol. The House version would eliminate the cap on THC sold at state-operated medical dispensaries. The Senate`s bill would allow medical marijuana usage for any condition deemed medically beneficial by a doctor.