Cedar Rapids bar wants to sell CBD infused drinks

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- An Eastern Iowa bar wants to give people the option to add medical cannabis called Cannabidiol or CBD.to their drinks. Uptown Live in Cedar Rapids planned to start selling those drinks tomorrow, but that plan is now on hold.

The owner, Gerald Seals wanted to be the first in the state to offer CBD infused drinks. CBD is a supplement from cannabis plants but has little to no THC in it. THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets people high, but as we started making calls today, we asked the state whether selling CBD infused drinks is legal. That question now has triggered a state investigation.

Seals says he wants to add the product because it's becoming popular, but he also cites health studies that it helps cope with anxiety, pain or nausea.

"It actually will have an effect to balance you out,” he says. “It's really just something that will take the edge off. It’s not just a product that's gonna get you high."

There is confusion over whether selling CBD at all is legal in Iowa, let alone in drinks. Regardless, Members of the Area Substance Abuse Council say alcohol is not the way to go about getting the benefits CBD oil.

"If it's going to be used for medicinal purposes, the best to obtain that is as you would in traditional medicine,” said Jeff Meyers with the Area Substance Abuse Council. “Going to a doctor, going through the FDA process."

Meyers is also worried about research showing that CBD slows down the absorption of alcohol "If it is advertised as taking away the impairment effects, you might have a user that feels that they can drink more than they otherwise would, and that's our concern,” he said. “It's similar to when people combine alcohol with something like caffeine.”

Seals says people should read up on the oil, and give it a chance. "A lot of this goes back to when you don't actually understand something, or take the time to research it, then form an opinion based on the research.” He said.

The Iowa Alcohol Beverages Division told TV-9 it is working with Seals to see if it is legal to sell C-B-D in drinks. Here's how confusing that question is, the Linn County Attorney and Cedar Rapids police both told me they believe it is legal under state law, but the Department of Public Health told me it's not. Seals tells TV-9 he just hopes the investigation goes quickly.