Iowa store owner claims she did nothing wrong after hemp, CBD products were raided

Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 9:04 AM CST
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The raid on a Fayette County store highlights the confusion over Iowa's medical marijuana laws.

The raid seized hemp and CBD products, which are both forms of cannabis advocates say help relieve pain, nausea and other conditions.

The store's owner is convinced she did nothing illegal.

"I think they were looking for anything and everything," said Tanya Tysland, describing the raid on her store, Brick City Spa, in Clermont.

Fayette County deputies seized candies containing CBD and hemp flour.

Advocates say those products do not contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes a high and why Tysland thought they were legal to sell.

"They're hemp-based products. There is a misconception that the CBD is out of the illegal marijuana plant," Tysland said. "That's not what we sell here. We sell hemp-based products, with zero THC."

That's where the confusion comes in.

Sheriff Deputy Shad Roys said it's illegal to sell any edible hemp-based or CBD products over the counter. That's the same thing Iowa's Attorney General and Department of Public Health said last year.

"It is still derived from the cannabis sativa plant so it is still illegal in Iowa as the law is written now," Sheriff Roys said. ""Who's to say that someone doesn't buy a bag if these lollipops, set them on the kitchen table and their young child gets ahold of them?"

But the confusion still reigns as the federal and state laws change and differ.

The Iowa Legislature is debating whether to expand Iowa's Medical Marijuana law to allow more products.

Until then, store owners like Tysland are struggling to make sense of the law… and not break it.

"I have it sitting in my lobby, I have it advertised on Facebook. If I thought it had any hint that it was marijuana, I would never be doing that," she said.

Tysland hopes to be able to sell CBD again, but for now she is following the sheriff's order not to.