State says CBD oil sold in stores is illegal, stores choose to sell anyway

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A product being sold in stores in Eastern Iowa is illegal, according to the state.

It's called Cannabidiol oil, better known as CBD oil. It's similar to medical marijuana but comes from hemp and is supposed to have no THC, which is the chemical that creates a high.

The Corner Store Apothecary and More has become a place where all kinds of people stop-in desperate to find something to help with their pain.

"The shop is kind of a labor of love we're here to help more people I myself have intractable epilepsy, I've got my life back because of the CBD oil," store owner Patrick Loeffler said.

One mom says she uses it to help with her migraines.

"I've been able to function and get up and do things and not forget things it's just a lot easier with it," Samantha Rundell said.

CBD oil from hemp is supposed to not contain any THC. The Iowa Department of Health says the products are not legal no matter what.

"Our position is that any CBD product is illegal in the state of Iowa if it is not produced under the program being implemented by the department at this time," Iowa Department of Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said.

County attorneys could seize the products if they want to. It happened to a store owner in Muscatine County. The county attorney says they tested the product and found marijuana.

"That testing comes back identifying it as containing marijuana. So that's what I have to go on with that lab analysis," County Attorney Alan Ostergren said.

The companies making CBD oil are trying to change that opinion by lobbying at state capitols.

Arby Barroso a co-founder of Green Roads based out of Florida says his product has no THC and welcomes testing.

"We got to educate the public because there are a lot of companies that don't really care and they are trying to get on this CBD train and they just incorporated probably two years ago because now they think that there's money in it and so they get in and don't really care with the consumer takes," Barroso said.

The department of health is leaving it up to local law enforcement to decide.

"I'm aware that there's a difference of opinion about this out there among stores and attorneys and that sort of thing," Reisetter said.

Loeffler says he's not worried because the city stands by them.

"We've done our research already and we've reached out to law enforcement in this area, we've educated them what we sell in our store is hemp oil cannabis Hemp oil there's no THC in it whatsoever that makes it legal throughout all 50 states," Loeffler said.

They hope that with continued education and lobbying, the state will eventually recognize the products they say help so many people.

The "over the counter" kind is different than medical CBD oil. If they quality, people can get a medical card and then get CBD oil that has up to 3 percent THC in it. That's all part of the state's new medical marijuana program, but that program is not up and running yet and won't be at least until next year.