Just days after Christmas, two Carroll businesses had items labeled as containing cannabidiol (CBD) seized from their locations. Carroll Police Chief, Brad Burke, has said there is an ongoing investigation, but that all products did test positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for a euphoric or “high” feeling, and are in violation of Iowa law. One of these business owners, Carrie Bluml of Nature Ammil, says this issue is much bigger than her and the other local business impacted. She believes there was no violation at all on her part.
A memo produced by the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy has reportedly been distributed to Iowa legal authorities, stating that any CBD products sold that are not manufactured under the state’s new regulatory rules are considered illegal. Bluml disputes that the memo even exists, and if it does, she says, it doesn’t match up to what she has been told by the product’s distributor, Diamond CBD.
Interim Director for the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Dale Woolery, says the memo that was drafted by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and sent to law enforcement is publicly displayed on their website. Exemption three discusses medical marijuana items with less than three percent THC, but the section also says that type of product does not yet legally exist in Iowa because there are no operating manufacturers or licensed distributors. Woolery says that although he is not a lawyer, they are seeing many people reference the federal pharmacy law as protection. However, he says, that federal law requires the state to have an industrial hemp law, and Iowa does not. As he reads the memo, Woolery says, this is a case of buyer beware as there are still too many questions about the contents and the legality of them. Iowa’s new system will have only one licensed manufacturer for the production of CBD and they will allow up to five dispensaries. Purchase of the product can only be made from that maker at those locations and only if the person is a patient with a state-issued permit. Bluml says, for her, this is where the discrepancy arises.
Woolery also addressed the percentage amounts of THC for a hemp oil classification and says that they have seen a common problem with people moving the decimal point on the allowable amount, saying it is 3 percent. To be classified as hemp oil, most countries require the THC content to be 0.3 percent or lower. Bluml says that she has people in Des Moines who are talking with the Central Iowa Drug Task Force (CIDTF) in Ames, and claims a recording has been posted to YouTube with the agency saying hemp oil is not illegal. Carroll Broadcasting was unable to locate this video and spoke with Story County Attorney, Jessica Reynolds, whose office is a member of that task force. She says they have not produced and/or distributed any such video and are unaware of the existence of one like what was described. Bluml contends that Muscatine and Carroll are not on the same page as the rest of the state with what is and is not legal. She says she just wants the truth and the facts to come out and that if the laws have to be changed, that needs to be done and made clear to law enforcement. She has secured an attorney from Des Moines to represent her in this matter. A copy of the memo referenced in this story can be found below.