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Hemp-Growing in Kansas is Legal, but this CBD Shop Owner might Face Jail Time for it

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Hemp Growing is Legal in kansas not for shopowner

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.

KBI Involvement

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.

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Coca Cola Denies Rumors Regarding CBD-infused Product Development

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Coca Cola

Coca-Cola has no plans to enter the CBD market with its products, dismissing rumors about the company selling beverages incorporated with hemp oil.

Kent Landers, Coca Cola spokesperson, said in an interview with FOX Business that the speculations are not valid. He reiterated that the beverage giant had no intention of joining the CBD craze as what they have stated several times.

The rumors have arisen after a Youtube video of a man popping open a can of Coca Cola and claiming that it is infused with cannabidiol oil, a cannabis leaf extract typically used to alleviate pain without causing a high. The video has since been deleted.

About the video

The Youtube user who made the video, “Gabor the Blind Guy”, claimed to the viewers that he got ahold of the product via his father who allegedly produced capping and bottling machines for several primary food and pharmaceutical companies.

He further stated that his father was contacted by Coca Cola Canada to develop a machine that would produce childproof caps for Coca Cola cans. The company is said to release a new line of products infused with cannabidiol extracts, which are considered as cannabis-based substances as declared by Gabor.

Coca Cola was supposedly looking into a collaboration with Aurora Cannabis, a Canada-based cannabis production company. The beverage powerhouse allegedly eyed the CBD market since it grew in demand, as reported by Bloomberg last September of 2018.

Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, CEO and Vice-Chair of Berkshire Hathway, respectively, indicated that Coca Cola joining the marijuana industry would not be right. In an interview with FOX Business Liz Claman, the experts said that entering the CBD market will be detrimental to the wholesome image that the company has kept throughout years.

Munger stated during the Berkshire Hathway Annual Shareholders Meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska that going into the cannabis market is a massive mistake for the company. The company’s image does not align with cannabis and its related products.

James Quincey, Coca-Cola CEO, dispelled the speculation in October, declaring that the company does not plan to get into the CBD space at this stage.

More about CBD

Cannabidiol oil has gained significant popularity over the recent years because of the positive reception from users. CBD is now known as an almost magical remedy that cures or alleviates pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, and more. Users claim that CBD is useful in resolving a broad range of health conditions.

However, there is still no formal regulatory framework for CBD from the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, the regulating body that is supposed to safeguard consumers from fake and harmful products. Many advocates, cannabis groups and even members of the House have called on FDA to hasten the process of providing a clear set of guidelines for the use and sale of CBD products.

The only FDA-approved medication out in the market today is Epidiolex, a drug used as an adjunct treatment for intractable epilepsy. It means that other CBD products out in the market today cannot be advertised as medication or food supplements, which makes adds to the confusion regarding the legality of the industry and the products.

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CBD-Based Wellness and Skincare Products for Newbies

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Active ingredients in skin care products can take hours of research, and several clinical trials to determine which ones really work. While nature-derived substances are considered safer, some allergies and skin sensitivities can still cause a reaction when using natural remedies.

Cannabidiol or CBD is the latest natural ingredient that has sparked interest in the wellness industry. It is extracted from Cannabis sativa L., the source plant for hemp and marijuana. Many questions arose regarding the application of CBD on skincare: does it work? What are the benefits of using it for wellness and beauty? Does it give a “high” when used, like in marijuana?

To clarify, cannabidiol is derived from the non-psychotropic component of marijuana. It has little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effect of the drug. Several countries have banned CBD products, but most formulations are safe to use and have zero dependency potential.

In terms of skincare benefits, CBD can be used to soothe, calm, and relax the skin. CBD is touted to have anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it a viable cure for acne. It is also believed to bring balance to skin sebum levels, controlling breakouts. CBD, as a plant-based ingredient, is rich in anti-oxidants and reduces wrinkles, roughness, and dull skin.

It might be confusing or intimidating to start on a CBD-based skin regimen. Some factors to take note of when choosing a CBD product for skin care are the method of extraction, packaging, purity and INCI compliance.

Here are some CBD-based skincare products that you can incorporate into your CBD routine.

Cannuka

Cannuka combines CBD oil and Manuka Honey to provide its all-natural skincare solution. Some of their products include CBD Harmonizing Face Cream, CBD Skin Balm, and CBD Calming Eye Balm, which showcase the healing capabilities of both ingredients. The products were created for the purpose of skin therapy.

The company ensures thoughtful harvesting, sustainable sourcing, and quality. Their hemp farms are known to produce quality cannabidiol since 2014. Their Manuka honey is sourced from an established farm in New Zealand.

Populum

For evening skin routine, the Lavender CBD Face Oil from Populum is an excellent choice. It is made of full-spectrum hemp oil and incorporated with lavender to give a calming sense while also working towards reducing signs of aging. The effect is a more youthful and radiant skin after applying during the night.

CBD and lavender are a good combination, which provides antioxidants, and as well as give a soothing effect for an improved mood and wellness.

Lily CBD

Lily CBD is a company that values integrity, safety standards, and paying it forward. Their CBD-infused product, Essential Oil Rollers, is promoted as a gift item for loved ones with a busy schedule. They incorporate full-spectrum cannabidiol in their products and have travel-friendly skincare items that minimize discomfort after a long trip.

Bathing Culture

Bathing’s Cultures CBD product is Dipsea Soak, which is specially formulated to reduce stress and provide a relaxing bath experience.

Fleur Marche

Fleur Marche is known for its informative labeling and transparency of their products. The Starter Kit is their offering for people wanting to start a CBD routine, with products such as Balance Drops, Nite Nite Patch, Luxury Beauty Serum, CBD Mint Truffles, and CBD & Honey Ache and Pain Relief Stick that are best-selling for their effectiveness.

They Call Her Alfie

The premium collagen and certified CBD make They Call Her Alfie products a hit in the market. They offer fast-acting skincare on their Forever Firming Duet Set, which works to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the skin.

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76% of Americans Falsely Believe FDA Regulates CBD

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In a survey conducted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, more than three-quarters of Americans have assumed that CBD products sold commercially are controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is mostly untrue.

Of the 2,056 respondents who joined the survey, 76% believed that CBD-based products were regulated by the FDA, while 16% of the respondents were doubtful as to the regulation of CBD by the FDA. The study marked around 92% of Americans who are still confused by CBD regulations or apparent lack thereof.

What the study revealed

According to the study, over 6 in 10 Americans or 62% of the respondents are aware of cannabidiol products, but most of them are mistaken or doubtful about the nature of CBD, its effects, and whether all CBD-containing products are safe for consumption.

The only cannabidiol-based product that FDA has approved is Epidiolex, a medicine derived from marijuana that is used for the treatment of specific seizure disorders. The FDA stated that more studies need to be conducted before they can hand the approval for CBD, whether mixed in cosmetics, food, or other products. That, despite topical and salves being openly marketed at big retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, and Kroger.

The popular assumption regarding CBD stems from the 2018 Farm Bill. It legalized industrial hemp, which is where cannabidiol is derived. Jeff Lawrence, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment director of Environmental Health and Sustainability, stated that the federal approval granted to hemp made consumers assume that CBD products are now regulated and legal even if it’s not the case. The Farm Bill only approved fiber and seed products derived from industrial hemp, not CBD.

A look at CBD in Colorado

Cannabidiol has become a commodity over the years. Lawrence said that they had observed it in Colorado, where marijuana and other cannabis-derived products are somewhat progressive.

Lawrence added that Colorado made efforts to oversee CBD within the state. The Colorado Legislature allowed hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol as a food and cosmetics additive since 2018.

States that legalized marijuana and have progressive industrial hemp laws like Oregon and Colorado have regulated CBD use. However, there were certain factors that prevented the FDA from researching about CBD easily until recently.

Before the Farm Bill, hemp was included in the federal list of controlled substances, along with heroin and THC-laden marijuana, which means that studies on CBD were undertaken by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, now that hemp is legal, Lawrence believes that federal research on CBD will experience change.

Lawrence further stated that the FDA had little capacity to inspect CBD from a medical viewpoint. Now, the agency is still trying to understand what CBD really is.

FDA stance on CBD

Although the FDA still has much to do about CBD regulation, the agency stressed that the substance is still illegal as an additive to consumed products. However, the CBD industry is still booming despite it. The agency recently penned warning letters to fifteen CBD companies that use fake promotional claims on their products.

While the FDA is yet to issue official guidelines on CBD regulations, consumers are responsible for choosing which CBD products to buy and use, and conduct a self-research on how such products may affect them. It includes inspecting the product label, third-part lab test procedures, and the company’s reputation.

Some reports have shown that several products could have more or less of their advertised THC or CBD content.

Lawrence believes that CBD-based product testing is a crucial issue to be handled by the CDPHE and the Governor’s administration. He stated that the emerging industry could have companies that only look to cash in on the craze. The department is set on ensuring that CBD products are clearly labeled, hemp-derived, and contain the right dosage.

He also hopes that this CBD growth will encourage Colorado state departments to create new regulations. He sees the need for the alignment of benefits concerning the agricultural crop, whether in Colorado or other parts of the country.

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