Dubuque Police Department's Facebook post about CBD oil highlights confusion on product's legality

Cally Burkle sells this hemp extract product at her yoga studio, B1 Yoga, on Main St. in...
Cally Burkle sells this hemp extract product at her yoga studio, B1 Yoga, on Main St. in Dubuque. (Allison Wong, KCRG-TV9)(KCRG)
Published: Nov. 16, 2018 at 6:35 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Dubuque Police Department says it's been getting calls about the sale of CBD oil in Dubuque, but it seems the general public is still confused about what is or isn't legal.

Assistant Police Chief Jeremy Jensen said over the last week his officers have received complaints or information about people having CBD oil with THC.

CBD stands for cannabidiol and it comes from the hemp plant. It's not supposed to contain THC, which is the chemical that causes a high.

Jensen said, "couple times in the last week we’ve taken CBD oil with THC in it off of kids. Our DARE officer said he’s been getting a lot of questions, what’s legal, what’s not legal?"

So he decided to make a post on the

, warning the public about buying CBD oil.

In part, it said, "In Iowa, CBD oil is ILLEGAL, unless you have the medical marijuana “card”, and then there are very specific things, such as having to buy it from one of the five state approved dispensaries. Where some people are getting confused is in the term “CBD”, which is being used as a generic term for hemp extract that has no THC."

It ended with, "We want people to be aware of this and be aware that the Dubuque Drug Task Force is starting to investigate these complaints."

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, "CBD products

other than those manufactured under the Department’s regulatory program are not legal in the state of Iowa."

However, Jensen said his department is concerned only about the CBD products that contain THC.

"We know there’s people selling it, obviously, cause it’s showing up with THC levels in it," he said. "We want to make sure people understand that and the THC is what’s going to get people in trouble."

Cally Burkle saw the Facebook post and was immediately confused and concerned.

She owns B1 Yoga on Main St. in Dubuque and sells what she calls a "premium hemp extract". She said it's a dietary supplement that has health benefits, helping with things like, "maybe a little bit of pain, maybe a little bit of anxiety, maybe you’re not able to sleep right.”

Burkle argues what she sells is legal because it's from the hemp plant and contains less than one percent of THC. That's considered just a trace. She said the 2014 version of the Farm Bill allows that.

She's sure of her product's contents because the Colorado man who makes it for her gives her lab results.

"He’s always emailing me and keeping me up to date on the latest lab results," she stated. "They have to make sure it has less than .3 percent THC and they have to make sure there’s no harmful contaminants in the product.”

That's another thing Jensen wants to warn people about; the origin of the product they're buying. He said people could buy or order online what they think is THC-free hemp extract, but could end up being something else.

"You really don’t know who’s regulating that. And then you suddenly are in a situation where you may end, it may have a dosage of THC in it and somebody is purporting it as being really low," he said.

In the end, he said the post was intended to act as a warning to buyers and sellers alike.

"We just want people educated, that they know what they're buying," Jensen said.