Annie Martin, a CBD shop owner in Lawrence, could be spending time in jail even if the law states that she would only be fined a dollar for lighting a joint in front of the courthouse steps of the town.
The former elementary school teacher turned CBD shop owner maintains that her products are made from hemp, which by law is legal to be grown in Kansas. This product does not have high THC levels to cause “pot high”, making it allowable by federal law. However, she might be charged with a felony that could make her serve years in jail.
Martin believed she followed the law and did every right thing before opening Free State Collective CBD, her store in Lawrence, with fiancé Sean Lefler.
They contacted several state agencies to look for regulatory approval and some guidance, but very few returned her request. She also secured third-party lab testing for her products.
Free State Collective CBD is just one of the many CBD stores in an expanding industry that has everything from CBD oils to pet treats.
The issue with Martin’s business is that they sell hemp flower, which has the same look and smell as marijuana. However, it is chemically different. While marijuana is an addictive variety, hemp is its tamer counterpart. Lab results for Martin’s products showed that theirs was of hemp variety and not the other.
Their store has been raided twice so far by the Bureau of Investigation in Kansas. Martin dismissed the first time as just a misunderstanding, but law enforcers seized her stuff, including their cash, inventory, and iPads they use for business.
This time, Martin, Lefler and a store employee are facing possible felony charges that could land them to 206 months or more than 17 years in jail, according to their lawyer. Most CBD stores avoid displaying hemp flower due to its confusing characteristics, but Martin insists that other CBD businesses still sell such products.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp is of the same source plant as marijuana, the Cannabis sativa L., which leads to much of the confusion regarding these two different varieties. Hemp only has trace amounts of THC, the cannabinoid that causes the addictive nature of marijuana.
This year, Kansas state introduced its industrial hemp research program that allowed growers to populate hundreds of acres of farmlands within the state. Missouri plans to do the same in the next year. Despite all the confusion and uncertainty, cultivators believe that the program will hail hemp as the new cash crop of the Midwest.
Martin’s case is one of few that belies on the state of CBD in Kansas agri-business and pop culture. The federal law has done little in the clarification of counteracting and constantly changing regulations.
Martin’s attorney, Sarah Swain, said that lines are supposed to be drawn because it is impossible to determine who steps in line and who does not.
Swain added that she hopes to see the prosecution quit marijuana crimes, especially in Lawrence where the governing body has already reduced the terms of punishment for several marijuana possession cases.
The attorney ran for Kansas Attorney General but unfortunately failed on her bid. She reiterated that the serious charges made on Martin raised doubts on Charles Branson, Douglas County District Attorney, and his priorities. Hemp case prosecution takes thousands from taxpayer’s money and is useless in managing the marijuana situation in the streets, Swain said.
Martin was a former teacher for over 16 years but was forced to stop due to her son meeting a boat accident last 2015 that caused serious brain injury and stroke. She discovered CBD amidst all the treatment and therapy plans on her son.
Since then, Martin’s son relied on CBD lotion to allay his nerve pain without fearing the side effects of prescription medicines.
Both she and her fiancé opened their business in August of last year and have customers that come in for their pains and anxiety. Their hemp flower is visibly promoted in their store and online as well, which she says is her way of not hiding anything from law enforcers.
CBD Law in Kansas
In Kansas, the hemp program permits licensed cultivators to grow hemp with no more than 0.3% of THC. Martin interpreted it as the standard to be applied in retail stores, so she went ahead and secured hemp flowers, and as well as pre-rolled joints below the THC limit.
The Kansas DA industrial hemp program doesn’t regulate sales of retail shops according to officials. It also allows cultivators and distributors to provide hemp to entities state-licensed via the program.
Officials say hemp flower, leaf and hemp buds are illegal for sale to unlicensed operators based on state law. If one is found to violate the law, they could be charged with Class A misdemeanor as a first offense.
Martin may face two counts of felony for tetrahydrocannabinol possession and also distribution. Her fiancé, Lefler, has four felony counts. The charging documents state that both of them were found to have more than one kilogram of THC.
A special agent from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Kelby Dickensheet made the investigation of the couple due to an anonymous tip about the couple’s store distributing marijuana while masking them as legalized industrial hemp.
KBI is currently refusing to give any statement regarding the ongoing case, spokeswoman Melissa Underwood stated. She said that although there is some confusion about the law, the bureau continues to study federal and state regulations to clear the air on CBD, marijuana, and hemp.
After the raid in February, Martin said they didn’t hear from KBI as of yet. Swain tried to contact the agency but had not received any response.
Setting A Specific Diet May Boost CBD Oil Benefits Even More
CBD or cannabidiol has elevated its popularity status in the past few years and poised to become a multi-billion enterprise due to the high number of recreational athletes claiming that this substance helps alleviate pain, grant faster recovery, improve sleep and a whole lot more.
While the general public might still be divided about the opinion on CBD, a few studies have popped up to show how CBD effects may vary depending on how an individual responds to the substance, the preparation being taken and dosage, and even genes.
A journal called Epilepsia has recently published an article that states how diet affects the way the body absorbs the compound. It also shows how food can dramatically determine the efficacy of a CBD supplement by measuring the amount of CBD supplement taken.
The small-scale study involves eight adults prescribed with the CBD-infused drug approved by the FDA to treat seizures that are related to epilepsy. Half of the volunteering subjects took the recommended dose of their CBD four hours before breakfast in the first half of the research. The remaining half had an intake of a breakfast burrito containing high-fat level, specifically 52% or 850 calories of fat in around 30 minutes of ingesting CBD oil. The two groups exchanged setup around two weeks later.
After blood works done regularly within the duration of the study, results showed that their food intake is correlated with the amount of CBD effectively absorbed by the body. The volunteers who had a breakfast burrito with their CBD increased their CBD uptake of up to 14 times on average, compared to those who ate nothing before taking CBD. The amount of cannabidiol absorbed by their system quadrupled along with eating the said high-fat breakfast.
The proponents of the study concluded that cannabidiol should be introduced with food to improve the absorbing capacity of the body for CBD. They also indicated that low-fat meals do not have the same absorptive function as that of high-fat preparations, which was shown to boost the amount of CBD in the body.
According to Angela Birnbaum, Ph.D., co-author of the study and University of Minnesota professor in the College of Pharmacy, stated that while a certain food type made a huge impact on CBD absorption, it can also foster variability. This is because not every meal has the same fat content and therefore needs to be planned out to get the optimum level for greater absorption.
Another co-author of the research, Ilo Leppik, said that an increase in the amount of CBD being absorbed by the body may lead to fewer expenses on medication and treatment.
If you think that your CBD intake isn’t as effective as others despite using the same dosage and brand, it might be time to adjust your diet and let in high-fat foods to get the most out of cannabidiol.
Colombian Law Enforcers Seize 300 Kilos of Cannabis Stored in Coffins, Hawaiian Hemp Crops Being Destroyed
Cannabis laws are a hot topic on a global scale following back-to-back legalization passed by lawmakers in some US states and a few European countries. This turn of events, however, has not stopped the black market from becoming alive. A lot of users who don’t have access to legal dispensaries or purchase from their own state turn to smuggled goods. This is why some distributors turn to smuggle for their supplies.
BBC released a report earlier about a police operation recently in Colombia, wherein 330 kilos (660 lbs.) of cannabis, which was hidden inside a coffin, was seized by authorities.
Details about the Operation
Regional Police Commander Fabian Ospina said that two coffins transported by a hearse were caught by police officers for possessing a huge amount of the illegal substance. As of writing, only the driver was detained and questioned, but no additional information has surfaced yet regarding the incident. There is also no word about the ongoing investigation of other people suspected of involvement in the said case.
Marijuana is still very much illegal for recreational use in all of America. Anyone caught possessing such substance is subjected to fines, detainment, and criminal charges. This is because marijuana is included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s list of controlled substances as a schedule 1 drug.
Marijuana is known to have a psychotropic effect on a user’s mind, causing a “high” to kick in, especially if the substance has a very potent amount of tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the cannabis component responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive property.
Hawaii’s hemp crops are being wiped out
The plight of marijuana in the face of law is still largely uncertain, but it’s also unfortunate how hemp crops grown in Hawaii are set to be destroyed. Half of the cultivated crops from 2019 are in danger of being included. This is due to the fact that reports by the Hemp Industry Daily revealed that such crops have been tested and are shown to have elevated levels of THC.
The THC in Hawaiian hemp crops may have been brought about by the shortage of cultivars that can thrive on the island’s climate, which is known to be tropical.
Eighteen hemp crops were destroyed by authorities although for four have been waived from destruction because their THC contents were only a little over 0.3%. Officials from the state’s agricultural officials are convinced that Hawaii faces multiple challenges when it comes to growing local hemp crops.
Authorities expect only four hemp crops to be produced yearly in the state. Most hemp cultivars are imported from the European Union and Canada. These crops are used to long summer days and low-temperature evenings.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L., a plant species that is the source for marijuana, too. Hemp has been embroiled in controversy for many years because of this. However, after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed by President Donald Trump, hemp has been excluded in the federal definition of marijuana. This legalized harvesting, processing and using hemp and its derived products anywhere in the US as long as state laws also allow it.
Feds indicate CBD, hemp not qualified as controlled substances
The US Justice Department recently decided to expand its marijuana research program which earned a lot of comments from the media and the general public. Along with their press release is the information that small Nebraskan businesses have been hoping to hear for a long time.
Authorities confirm that the hemp plant and extracted cannabidiol or CBD from such variety that has less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content does not belong to the federal list of controlled substances.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) finally cleared the air just as the law enforcement from Nebraska are marred with confusing regulations about the hemp plant, a variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant species that also produces marijuana, which is understandably included on the prohibited substances list.
Prior to the announcement from DOJ and DEA, Nebraska laws concerning hemp and its oil extract has been confusing especially for cops who are trying to uphold the law when it comes to possession, distribution, and use of the said products.
Doug Peterson, Nebraska’s Attorney General, told a news outlet during an interview at the Capitol building halls that official comments would be released but at a later date. Peterson’s office was asked about his position regarding CBD and hemp confusion.
Raids and prosecution issues
A memo from Peterson’s office authored before the state announcement from Nebraska’s lawmakers to differentiate hemp from marijuana became the basis for raiding a CBD store in Herman.
Felony drug charges were pushed by the local prosecutor thrice, but judges dismissed each attempt. However, the office of the County Attorney appealed each time a decision was made.
The biggest prosecuting office in the state says CBD is not a cause for concern because it does not cause a high unlike the related CBD extracted from marijuana.
Don Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, told the media in an interview that the people conducting the drug tests confirm that hemp CBD does not have the same impact as cannabis CBD, making it a challenge to secure a conviction regarding cases of possession. This statement was made prior to the change in statutes made by Nebraska lawmakers to align with the federal law.
The Agriculture Improvement Act
The 2018 Farm Bill is responsible for the change in state laws regarding hemp and its derived products. Signed into law by President Donald Trump in December of last year, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 states that hemp is excluded from the legal definition of marijuana.
Hemp and CBD extracted from the said Cannabis sativa L. variety is legal to grow, process and use, provided that it has no more than 0.3% THC content based on the dry weight. The THC content is an important marker for differentiating hemp from marijuana, which is the substance having a psychoactive effect on users.
The federal law is the main cause for most states in the US to legalize hemp and grant growers an official license to harvest hemp and extract CBD from it. There are specific regulations concerning the process, but laws enable growers and distributors to legally sell hemp products that users can lawfully take.
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